PARTNERSHIP

Nakhumicha meets heads of WHO, Gavi as health meeting ends

Kenya expressed gratitude for WHO's support in health emergencies, including the recent donation of ambulances

In Summary
  • The CS noted the Covid-19 pandemic reversed some of the gains made in immunisation programs.
  • This year’s session of the World Health Assembly will determine the immediate and longer-term future of WHO, starting with the programme budget for the next two years.
Acting DG Patrick Amoth, CS Susan Nakhumicha and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva at the World Health Assembly, which ends on Tuesday.
Acting DG Patrick Amoth, CS Susan Nakhumicha and WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva at the World Health Assembly, which ends on Tuesday.
Image: WHO

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has held several meetings with the heads of the World Health Organization and Gavi in Geneva.

The talks were held on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of WHO, which ends on Tuesday.

Nakhumicha last week met with the WHO director general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus to discuss Kenya's progress in implementing Universal Health Coverage through primary healthcare networks.

“CS expressed gratitude for WHO's support in health emergencies, including the recent donation of ambulances, double cabins, and land cruisers. These vehicles were subsequently provided to five counties on May 5,” a statement from Ministry of Health said.

Earlier, the Kenyan team led by the CS, alongside acting director general for health Patrick Amoth, Dr James Nyikal from the Parliamentary committee on health, met with the outgoing GAVI alliance CEO Seth Berkeley.

Gavi is the Geneva-based organisation that purchases vaccines for many developing countries including Kenya.

The ministry said this partnership provides free immunisation services 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 organisations to strengthen healthcare initiatives. During the meeting, 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,” the ministry said.

The CS noted the Covid-19 pandemic reversed some of the gains made in immunisation programmes.

She explained Kenya has set up the Kenya Biovax Institute to repackage vaccines and other specialised Human Health Products and Technologies, including therapeutics and biomedical products.

“As the chair of the East, Central, and Southern Africa Health Community and a member of the East African Community, Kenya has aligned with other member states to achieve a stockpile of essential HPTs,” CS said.

This year’s session of the World Health Assembly will determine the immediate and longer-term future of WHO, starting with the programme budget for the next two years.

Delegates also deliberated about the critical role that WHO has in the Global Health Emergency Architecture.

The meeting reviewed last year’s progress, accomplishments and challenges along with future priorities across the key pillars of WHO’s work: UHC, Emergencies, Promoting Health and well-being.

“As we mark WHO’s 75th anniversary, we can be proud of our past achievements, but we must be mindful of lessons learned, as we transition from the emergency phase of Covid-19, and create a future where every person has access to the health services they need,” said WHO boss Dr Ghebreyesus.

 “This means strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience, supporting countries on the road to universal health coverage, and building a stronger, sustainably-funded and accountable WHO."

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