• NCDs accounted for 31 per cent of deaths in the country in 2015, with 51 per cent of the victims aged below 70.
• The MoU is in line with the UHC agenda.
Tunisia will now work closely with Kenya in disease prevention and control.
They will focus on both communicable and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). In an MoU signed between the two countries yesterday, prevention and fight against addictions and drug abuse will also be a key area of cooperation.
Other areas will be environmental health, promotion of child health in schools, disease surveillance and cooperation in sectors of pharmaceuticals and drugs.
The deal was signed by Health CS Sicily Kariuki and Tunisia Foreign Affairs Minister Khemaies Jhiinaoui, who was accompanied by Amb. Hatem Landouisi at Afya House, Nairobi.
Kenya has been struggling with the burden of NCDs whose main risk factors are tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and harmful use of alcohol.
"The signing of this MoU signifies the start of a journey in matters ranging from exchange of information, capacity building of our human resource service delivery and joint investment in hospitals and health facilities and matters of research," Kariuki said, adding that Tunisia had made some major steps in the health sector.
"The President has made a commitment to ensure there is universal health coverage for the people in this country, hence this is a good step for us."
NCDs accounted for 31 per cent of deaths in the country in 2015, with 51 per cent the victims aged below 70.
More than half of inpatient admissions and 40 per cent of hospital deaths in Kenya are due to NCDs. This severely compromises healthcare budgets.
"I know this sector is a priority to his Excellency the President and we are very much eager for this partnership," Jhiinaoui said.
The World Health organisation estimates that three-quarters of all NCD deaths worldwide take place in low and middle-income countries. These 28 million deaths from cancers, diabetes, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases are related to poverty and lack of detection and treatment.
In these countries, inadequate healthcare systems can lead to higher rates of premature deaths as well.
(Edited by F'Orieny)