Kenya and Cuba pledge further cooperation in medical fields

Kenya and Cuba have pledged to enhance cooperation in the health sector as part of ongoing efforts by the Kenyan government to further improve quality and access to primary health care.
A meeting between Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and Cuban ambassador to Kenya, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, on Tuesday resolved to expand further diplomatic engagement in the health sector for the benefit of the two nations.
The health CS said the health agreement signed by the two countries in 2017, that actualised an exchange programme where Cuban doctors came into the country to help fill gaps in county hospitals while Kenyan doctors were sent to Cuba for specialised training, has proved a success.
“We now need to send more healthcare workers from Kenya to Cuba for specialised training. We are also looking to have Kenyan medics get attached in Cuban facilities especially in the areas of cancer and Malaria control.” Observed the CS.
Speaking during the meeting, the Cuban ambassador said his government is committed to the full implementation of the bilateral agreements adding that Cuba remains ready to help Kenya train its human capital on available technologies.
“We look forward to the implementation of our agreements. Our priority is to complete the programs we began” said ambassador Rodriguez.
According to Kagwe, the ongoing collaboration should be extended to the field of research, vaccines and pharmaceutical products to further enhance Kenya’s capacity to deal with emerging health challenges.
“With Biovax we now have capacity to engage. We also have Moderna beginning to manufacture for the continent from Kenya. AstraZeneCa of India is also looking at using Kenya as a manufacturing base for the region. We are now ready to discuss local manufacturing.” Said the health CS.
Tuesday’s meeting came at a time when the Kenyan government is looking to improve and strengthen Kenya’s primary healthcare system as a catalyst to achieving universal healthcare. The Ministry of Health has been working towards the provision of affordable health care for all by strengthening health systems particularly public health facilities. At the core of these efforts is to refocus Kenya’s healthcare from the curative to preventive approach where financial and human resources are directed at primary health care.
In February this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled the Universal Health Coverage national scale-up affirming the government’s commitment to spread its benefits across the country through the development of a focused policy to accelerate its implementation.