Geneva, Switzerland - May 24 2023 - In a proactive move towards transforming healthcare delivery and fostering self-reliance, Kenya's Ministry of Health (MOH) team, led by Ag. DG Dr. Amoth, along with Hon. Dr. James Nyikal from the Parliamentary committee on health, and later joined by CS Nakhumicha S. Wafula, held a productive meeting with GAVI alliance CEO, Seth Berkeley.
Kenya has been actively investing in and implementing reforms to revolutionize its healthcare system, with a key priority being the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) over the next five years. Immunization plays a crucial role in this endeavor, and the country ensures that free immunization services are provided annually to over 1.5 million infants, an equal number of pregnant women, and 700,000 adolescent girls. These services are delivered through a network of more than 9,000 health facilities, including public, private, faith-based, and NGO establishments.
The collaboration with GAVI alliance CEO, Seth Berkeley, underscores the importance of engaging with international organizations to strengthen healthcare initiatives. During the meeting, the GAVI alliance expressed their intention to provide financial support to Kenya through the Treasury and are also planning a high-level visit to further solidify the partnership.
However, it is important to acknowledge the setbacks caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic (2019-2022), which resulted in socio-economic devastation worldwide and reversed the gains made in immunization programs. Recognizing the need for self-reliance and innovative solutions, the MOH, through institutions such as the Kenya Biovax Institute (KBI) and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), is focused on manufacturing vaccines and other specialized Human Health Products and Technologies (HPTs), including therapeutics and biomedical products, said the CS.
“As the chair of the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) and a member of the East African Community (EAC), Kenya has aligned with other member states to achieve a stockpile of essential HPTs,” CS said. Moreover, with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Kenya and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the establishment of a regional hub for emergency operations, significant progress has been made towards realizing self-reliance. The regional hub will encompass a training center, an emergency camp/treatment center, a simulation village, and a warehouse, further strengthening Kenya's emergency response capabilities.
The fruitful discussions between Kenya's MOH team and the GAVI alliance mark a crucial step towards enhancing healthcare delivery and promoting self-reliance in the face of global challenges. Kenya's unwavering commitment to reform, investment, and collaboration sets a commendable example for other nations striving to improve their healthcare systems and ensure the well-being of their populations.