Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health meets in Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya December 16,  2019 – The Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health (CACH) is currently meeting in Kenya to provide advise on matters of public health concern and interest to the Commonwealth.


Delegates from across the Commonwealth today met  at a Nairobi hotel to assess elimination of malaria and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to update the Commonwealth health programme of work.


The Ministry of Health acting Director General Dr. John Masasabi in a speech read by Dr. Simon Kibias, Head of the Directorate of Health Standards, Quality Assurance and Regulation highlighted that Kenya remains committed to ensuring the highest possible quality of health is guaranteed to its populace.


He told the commonwealth advisory health committee that  the Government of Kenya has been piloting UHC in four counties for the past one year and will be scaling up progranme nationally by early next year using the lessons learnt from the pilot.


“We have set out ambitious targets to reach 100% coverage with an explicit health benefit package within two years in addition to drastically reducing out of pocket expenditures,” the DG said during the ACCH opening session.


He noted like other commonwealth countries Kenya is undergoing epidemiological transition and is grappling with a triple burden of disease with significant rates of communicable diseases, rapidly increasing incidences of non-communicable diseases and violence, injuries and accidences.


“We will continue to rely and anticipate on collaborations and partnerships from various international and local partners and institutions to ensure our goals which are in line with global goals and commitments are achieved,” he said.


The DG noted that Kenya has achieved two important milestones with a goal to reduce vaccine preventable diseases, that is HPV vaccine for girls aged10 years, and Malaria Vaccine.


“The uptake of these two vaccines has been very good making us very optimistic that cancer of the cervix and malaria will be under control in coming decade or two,” he noted.


He revealed that the Department for International Development (DFID), has granted  the health sector £23.53m technical assistance in sector-wide approaches (SWAPs) while the UK – Kenya Alliance is underway to support UHC as one of the big 4 Agenda, the Management and control of communicable diseases, Development of centers of excellence, Strengthening of referral systems, Ambulatory services and Malaria and other NTDs.


He urged the commonwealth countries to work jointly and build relationships to help address common challenges such as communicable and non-communicable disease noting that Kenya’s highest political leadership has prioritized Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to achieve equity and sustainable development as enshrined in the country’s constitution, vision 2030 and the government’s sustainable development blue print that places a healthy population at the center of development.


He further emphasized  that Kenya is committed in ensuring that all Kenyans have access to a range of critical quality public health, preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative services without suffering financial hardship. “No Kenyan should lack access to health services because they are poor or because of their political, religious or other affiliations,” he added.