Health CS Mutahi Kagwe roots for health self-sufficiency during ECAM Council forum

Nairobi, Tuesday November 2nd, 2021: Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe says Kenya is prioritizing self-sufficiency in health through partnerships meant to catalyse local manufacturing of health products.

Speaking in Rome, Italy during the second European corporate council on Africa and the middle east (ECAM), the CS said the Covid-19 pandemic has imparted critical lessons to developing nations.

“COVID-19 has exposed us to the dark underbelly of disparity and the vulnerabilities we face when we surrender key issues, as critical as a national healthcare system, to the custody of others. This has unfortunately been the trend in many developing nations, where the dependence on donor funding has undermined the need to develop domestic self-sustaining systems.” Observed the health CS.

According to Kagwe, the pandemic has underlined the need to strengthen regional supply chain of affordable health products as well as prioritization of prevention mechanisms that would safeguard life and overall wellbeing.

“As a result of COVID-19, nothing compares to the initiatives we have undertaken as a Government, to ensure that we are never again relegated to the back of the bus to panhandle for healthcare support.  We are leveraging the richness of our research capacity to engage with global counterparts, developers and manufacturers to strengthen our local capacity to identify, diagnose and adequately treat illnesses” said Kagwe.

The health CS says Kenya remains eager to attract private institutions willing to collaborate on Telemedicine, diagnostics capacity, as well as vaccine and pharmaceutical production in efforts aimed at not only increasing access to specialized health services for Kenyans but also strengthen the regional supply chain of affordable health products.

While applauding the efforts of the ECAM Council, Gruppo San Donato and the European House Ambrosetti, Kagwe said the relationship between the groups and Kenya has deepened tremendously as evidenced by the plan by Gruppo San Donato, The European House-Ambrosetti and GKSD Investment Holdings to put up a state-of-the-art specialized mental health and Neuropsychiatric Teaching and Referral Hospital in the country.

This even as he called for enhanced partnership between African nations and their middle east counterparts.

“Multilateralism seems to work among the more equal and those able.  We cannot stand by and wait for it to work. Africa and the Middle East must work together first.  Not only do they face some similar challenges in Healthcare and Education, but the regions of Africa and the Middle East share a historic and cultural depth.” Remarked Kagwe.