Geneva, May 22, 2023 - In a significant effort to bolster global health security, the Government of Kenya hosted a High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on strengthening prevention, preparedness, and response to public health emergencies through amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005). The dialogue, which brought together esteemed representatives from various countries and international organizations, aimed to address critical issues related to pandemic preparedness and response.
Expressing Kenya's privilege in representing the Africa Region on the Bureau of the Working Group on amendments to the International Health Regulations, the Cabinet Secretary emphasized the far-reaching implications of these discussions on national health security.
Kenya's active engagement in the development of a new WHO Convention or International Instrument on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, known as the "pandemic treaty," highlighted the government's commitment to strengthening the global health architecture. The Cabinet Secretary emphasized the importance of addressing equitable access to health products and technologies, a long-standing challenge for the African region, within the framework of the IHR amendments and the ongoing negotiations.
Sustainable financing for health emergencies prevention, preparedness, and response emerged as another key focus area. The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the significance of the Pandemic Fund and expressed eagerness to hear from its representative during the second panel, emphasizing the need for dedicated global funds that prioritize public health emergencies in the health security agenda.
Recognizing the criticality of collective action and representation, the Cabinet Secretary stressed the importance of a unified regional vision and voice in the negotiation processes. Encouraging open and active conversations, the Cabinet Secretary expressed Kenya's unwavering support and engagement in these crucial initiatives.
The dialogue proceeded with contributions from Health Ministers, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Africa CDC, as well as experts well-versed in the ongoing negotiations. The aim was to gain valuable insights and strengthen the regional position to better address the challenges and opportunities associated with pandemic preparedness and response.
The Government of Kenya's initiative to convene this high-level dialogue demonstrated its commitment to fostering collaboration and advancing solutions that enhance global health security.