Nairobi to host WHO health emergency hub

Thursday July 13 2017

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr Cleopa

Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health, Dr Cleopa Mailu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By ELIZABETH MERAB
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Nairobi will host the World Health Organisation (WHO's) emergency operation centre that will coordinate response teams for Eastern and Southern Africa.

The World Health Emergency Hub is expected to be set up in the country by the end of the year.

The decision to set up the hub in Kenya followed a recommendation by the WHO Regional Office for Africa. 

The centre will act as a sub-regional resource and response hub.

Kenya's Health minister, Dr Cleopa Mailu, commended the WHO for the decision and affirmed the country’s commitment and preparedness to handle emergency operations.

“We hope that the hub will contribute to capacity building of locals and build linkages for emergency action with local and international partners,” said Dr Mailu.

Kenya has been hailed for its efforts in improving healthcare notwithstanding challenges.

During the inaugural WHO Africa health forum held last month in Kigali, Kenya's Managed Equipment Services (MES) was lauded as a model for attainment of universal health coverage.

In May, the country’s free maternity initiative also received recognition at the East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) health community meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland.

“With free maternity services, we have seen the number of women delivering in our facilities rise from 600,000 in 2013 to 1.2 million in 2015. At the same time, maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 488 to 362 per 100,000,” said Dr Jackson Kioko at the meeting.