East African Community urged to collaborate to improve health system

Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called for more collaboration among East African member states to better address emerging health threats.

Speaking during a meeting with United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Steve Jackson and the newly appointed WHO country director Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, the health CS said recent experiences, especially the coronavirus pandemic, have exposed the need for coordinated approaches to health emergencies.

He said the World Health Organisation remains a key partner in supporting respective governments in their emergency health mechanisms.

“Kenya is the chair of EAC council of Health Ministers and your colleagues in the region will need to think regionally so that we can work together. We just welcomed DRC to the community and we now need to think as a region in our responses,” stated the health CS.

While welcoming the appointment of Dr Diallo, Kagwe said his past experience as a health minister in Guinea as well as having worked in leading roles at the national, regional and global levels on a range of key public health issues, makes him a perfect fit.

“For me, that he had worked as a minister was a perfect fit. He is someone who will understand from the word go. When you are seated on a problem where everyone's disease is your problem, you need someone who understands,” observed the CS.

He said Kenya and WHO have established a strong partnership, a bond that the government seeks to sustain, pledging to support the global body in its latest plan to establish a regional centre in Kenya.

According to United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Steve Jackson, WHO remains committed to supporting Kenya in her efforts to reform the health sector as well as deal with emerging health challenges.

Diallo said his appointment presents him with an opportunity to serve the people of Kenya having previously worked in the country on other engagements.

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