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Kenya Advances Public Health Initiatives at AFENET Conference

Mombasa, Kenya - 6th November 2023 - Kenya is actively working on the establishment of the Kenya National Public Health Institute and the setup of 29 emergency operation centers across the nation. These initiatives are in alignment with the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA), which places strong emphasis on universal health coverage (UHC), digital health services, and universal social health insurance.

During the official opening of the 8th AFENET Scientific Conference in Mombasa today, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nakhumicha S. Wafula, in a speech mentioned by Dr. Sultani Matendechero, Acting Director General of Health at the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, highlighted Kenya's commitment to these initiatives and the ambitious program aimed at extending UHC to every village, involving over 100,000 community health promoters.

The conference also addressed several critical issues, including efforts to strengthen local health product production, discussions on health challenges related to climate change, exploration of economic potential, cross-border surveillance, antimicrobial stewardship, and the digitization of health systems to enhance public health. The conference underscores the importance of collaboration and research-based decision-making in the pursuit of more resilient public health systems in Africa. Kenya's successful training of over 250 epidemiologists stands as a testament to its dedication in fulfilling the World Health Organization's recommendation of having one epidemiologist per 200,000 population.

Another critical issue addressed during the conference was the health challenges posed by climate change. These challenges include disease outbreaks and vector control. Attendees discussed potential African solutions to address health-related challenges stemming from climate change, with a focus on research and evidence-based decision-making.

Promotion of antimicrobial stewardship, domestic investment in health, and the digitization of health systems were encouraged to improve public health outcomes. These actions are viewed as critical steps towards a healthier and more productive African population.