The government intends to invest in more regional and national healthcare systems to facilitate easy and faster access to quality health care at the community level.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the COVID 19 pandemic had necessitated the shift in focus in the healthcare systems after the spread of the highly infectious disease exposed the fragility of even the most developed and powerful nations.
This, he noted, “has opened our eyes to the opportunities that will exist in a post-pandemic world”.
The CS was speaking at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital during a reception of GRUPPO SAN DONATO officials from Italy who are in Kenya for a series of meetings to explore areas of collaboration with the Government.
CS Kagwe said Kenya is committed to incorporating all stakeholders and every voice to intensify efforts to scale up healthcare.
He specifically noted that the visit by Gruppo San Donato has come at a time when the country has increased momentum towards transforming the available health care systems especially in the area of mental health
“Mental health has significant social and economic implications in terms of population well-being and productivity. It is thus a major public health priority that requires key strategic intervention for the attainment of our country’s social, health and economic targets,” Kagwe said.
The CS further explained that it is sad to note that mental health conditions remained a silent epidemic due to stigma, discrimination, reduced access to treatment and lack of psychosocial support.
This, he added, was compounded by increasing demands and expectations of life, poverty, unemployment, domestic conflicts, competitive lifestyles and efforts to achieve beyond our limits.
The situation, Kagwe noted, is further exacerbated by the adverse mental health impact due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“While a lot of gains have been made in the overall improvement of physical health status, the rising burden of mental ailments threaten to reverse these gains. This calls for strategic positioning of mental health in the country’s agenda and mobilization of resources to address these disparities,” he said
The CS said the visit by Gruppo San Donato follows a Health Investment Forum held in Milan Italy last year, where the ministry met with officials of the company with the aim of seeking ways of increasing investments to improve Kenya’s Healthcare systems.
A Taskforce on Mental Health report titled; Mental Health and Wellbeing; – toward Happiness and National Prosperity had clearly voiced citizens’ mental health concerns and associated daily life challenges and the urgency to address the matter as a public health emergency of an epidemic proportion.
Kenya Mental Health Action Plan 2021-2025 is also a commitment and a clarion call to all stakeholders to prioritize and invest in mental health for the next five years and beyond.
The Action Plan provides a roadmap for National and County Governments and all stakeholders to implement the Mental Health Policy and Taskforce Recommendations through strategic actions with specified targets and indicators.
To achieve the targets set by the plan, Kagwe said it required investments to bridge the huge gaps in the country’s mental health system as a result of many years of low financing of mental health.
“There are compelling reasons for increasing our investment in mental health and the public and private partnership will be an essential ingredient to the successful implementation of this plan. I am therefore pleased to welcome the group officials to Kenya, to further the discussions on increasing Healthcare hubs in Kenya and the region at large,” Kagwe said.
The CS said the officials of Gruppo San Donato, led by their Chairman Kamel Ghribi, were in the country with a view to explore avenues of collaboration in this sector and that on Thursday, they toured Mathare hospital and the proposed site of the new National Neuro Psychiatric Teaching and Referral Centre in Karen.
“From this visit, it is my hope that we shall move quickly towards the signing of an MoU to actualize our elaborate plans,” Kagwe said but noted that even as the conversations with Gruppo San Donato goes on, all stakeholders should join in exploring ways in which we could ‘increase our capacity for response to mental health service delivery challenges’.
Source: Kenya News Agency
Only 2,000 Guests For Mashujaa Day Fete Due To Covid-19 Threat, Says Kibicho
Only 2,000 guests will be allowed to attend this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations on October 20 at the Wang’uru Stadium in Mwea, Kirinyaga County.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the number has been reduced from 15,000 to 2,000 due to Covid-19 threat.
Speaking at General Kassam Stadium in Kianyaga in Gichugu Constituency during a leaders’ meeting, Kibicho said President Uhuru Kenyatta will be the guest of honour during the celebration to be attended by other heads of state and dignitaries.
On September 14, Kirinyaga leaders held their first meeting at Kutus Sifa Garden and agreed to shelve their differences for the success of the fete.
“During our first meeting at Kutus, we brought together former and elected leaders and updated them on development undertaken by the national government,” Roads PS Paul Maringa said.
Kibicho said leaders will continue with meetings before and after Mashujaa Day celebrations for unity purposes.
“We will continue this meeting and inspect State development initiated by the president,” Woman Rep Purity Wangui said.
Kibicho also denied that the government is financing a businessman who is convening the peace meetings, saying that the government cannot give monies to private individuals for such endeavours.
Kenya Set To Attend 76th UN General Assembly
Kenya is set to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in October this year, where it will showcase its progress towards achieving a sustainable development goal in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Kenya’s delegation to the high level session led by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Raychelle Omamo, will focus on the Big 4 Agenda and particularly, on matters that touch on energy, food systems, climate change, global governance and oceans, progress made towards the sustainable development goals and regional peace and security.
On climate change, Amb. Omamo announced that Kenya which is known for its leadership role in addressing climate challenges increased her Nationally Determined Contributions from 30 per cent to 32 per cent and advocating for clean energy with focus on clean cooking and transformative agriculture for sustainable future.
“I am convinced that global support in terms of climate financing is paramount for the country to achieve her targets by the year 2025,” said Omamo.
The CS made the remarks while briefing Diplomatic Corps and the media on various International engagements by Kenya during its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in the month of October at a Nairobi hotel.
She pointed that Kenya’s membership in the UN Security Council of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Kenya’s Presidency of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States has illustrated the country’s expanding influence on the international stage.
Amb. Omamo disclosed that Kenya will preside over the affairs of the UN Security Council, and will use the opportunity to pursue mutually beneficial outcomes as well as advance good neighbourliness and Pan Africanist ideals on regional peace and security, peace support operations, counter terrorism and violent extremism and climate security.
The CS at the same time announced that the high level dialogue on energy scheduled for September 24 this year organised by the United Nations Secretary General will offer Kenya together with other energy global theme partners from China, the European Union, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia an opportunity to host a thematic event on clean cooking.
She announced that a high level in- person ministerial briefing on the Great Lakes Region scheduled for October 20 this year at the UN Security Council Chambers in New York will seek to address sustainable solutions to the root causes and drivers of conflict.
“Countries of the Great Lake Region continue to be afflicted by many security challenges, however, in recent years, countries in Great Lakes Region have made commendable progress in addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict,” stressed the CS.
She said the progress can be attested by the peaceful transfers of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, the signing and implementation of peace agreements in the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan and the normalising of bilateral relations between Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
The High-Level Ministerial briefing is also expected to provide an opportunity for the Security Council to renew its commitment to the region, and to support the implementation of the priority projects aimed at promoting a shared vision of regional, peace, security and socio-economic development and strengthening cooperation in addressing the drivers of conflict and instability.
The Ministerial open debate will also share insights on investing in women peacekeepers, peace builders, and their networks to accelerate the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda to ensure sustainable peace outcomes during and post peace operation and mission transition settings.
During her remarks, the CS also thanked development partners for supporting Kenya and the entire region over the years, and in particular, this time of Covid-19 pandemic by donating Covid-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to convene the second high level event for Heads of State and Government High Level debate on October 28, 2021 on cooperation between the UN and the Regional and Sub Regional Organisations with specific reference to the African Union.
Kenya’s Presidency in the 76th session which will have several events including those of Heads of States will seek beneficial alliances that reaffirm a rule based multilateral system that addresses global challenges in a manner that attracts consensus.
The country will also use the opportunity to reinforce Kenya’s multilateral credentials in the global arena.