Appropriate tools and technologies needed to deal with prevailing health challenges says CS Kagwe

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is calling for more investments in research and new innovations to better deal with current and emerging health concerns.

Addressing the summit on malaria and neglected tropical diseases in Kigali, the health CS made a case for the need to develop appropriate tools and technologies to efficiently deal with prevailing health challenges.

'Innovation is needed both in developing new tools and technologies and in ensuring these vital tools reach those communities who need them – where and when they are needed most", submitted Kagwe.

Besides committing more resources to the health sector, Kagwe said Kenya has adopted innovative strategies to help improve access, including a focus on better data and surveillance, the use of drone technology for larval mosquito control, the Malaria Youth Army – an innovative platform that brings together young people from all the 47 counties of Kenya to fight malaria as well as the planned launch of use of the paediatric praziquantel to prevent and treat vulnerable children for schistosomiasis.

He said regional and international players needed to focus on partnerships in local Research & Development and manufacturing of public health tools and commodities.

He added that local quality manufacturing will also help ensure stability and affordability of commodities supply.

"Now more than ever, we need to work together to eradicate malaria and NTDs, to free the capacity of our health workers to address health conditions that cannot be avoided and strengthen the resilience of our health system. We have an opportunity to end the many deaths occasioned, allow our people to become more productive and ensure the growth of our countries' economies." Said the health CS.

Speaking at the same forum, Dr Lutz Hegemann, President, Global Health & Sustainability at Novartis, said it was important for the private sector to focus on access to ensure that innovations are available to as many patients as possible.

According to Medicines Development for Global Health CEO Dr Mark Sullivan, there was a need to ensure all initiatives are in tandem with the global regulatory frameworks to safeguard quality.

Hosted by the Government of Rwanda and taking place alongside the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) is a key opportunity for world leaders to demonstrate their commitment to ending malaria and NTDs.

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