Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has hailed the role of partners in ongoing efforts aimed at reforming the country’s heath sector.
Speaking on Friday during a meeting with United States Agency for International Development administrator Samantha Power, the health CS said local and international support has proved critical in the implementation of a host of government projects and reforms geared towards improving the country’s health outcomes.
“I wish to convey my appreciation to USAID for your continued support in the areas of HIV response, Reproductive Maternal and Child health issues that had taken a back seat due to the COVID-19 pandemic but are of great public health concern” said Kagwe.
He said Kenya and the United States have had a long-standing cordial relationship with Kenya being the largest USAID health beneficiary in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our collaboration with USAID for sustainable and resilient public health response in special programs includes HIV, TB, Malaria, Immunization, Blood Transfusion Services, Family planning and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health.” Observed the health CS.
During the engagement with USAID administrator, the health CS sought the support of Samantha in having the US government extend the transition period of Pepfar activities arguing that the country is still in need of the US government initiative as it recovers from the adverse effects of Covid-19 pandemic. He at the same time rooted for the establishment of a specialised health workforce training for local healthcare workers to be trained in the US on speciality areas like oesophageal and pancreatic cancers as well as other specialised training in the mould of the training development programme that had been initiated by USAID in the 90s.
This even as he reassured Samantha of ongoing reforms in the health sector including radical structural changes at KEMSA that have seen its entire supply chain re-organised including the appointment of a new chief executive officer and chair of the board who has previously worked with USAID.
On her part, the USAID administrator pledged to push the case for Kenya even as she appreciated the government efforts in transforming the public health sector.
“When president Kenyatta met President Biden in the United States, he pledged his commitment to reform Kenya’s healthcare, a promise that he has kept, “said Samantha.
She promised to engage with US government officials to have proposals by the health cabinet secretary considered.
According to Kagwe, deepening of bilateral relations through the establishment of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue Framework is imperative for Kenya and the United States to sustain the trajectory of enhanced mutually beneficial relationship.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Health, Kenya.