Tanzania and Kenya unite on health issues

Saturday August 07 2021
Tanzania’s Health minister Dorothy Gwajima

Tanzania’s Health minister Dorothy Gwajima revealed that she had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic. PHOTO | FILE

By Rowena Adhiambo

Tanzania and Kenya are deepening their collaboration in health matters especially in the fight against Covid-19. Last week on Thursday Tanzania’s Health minister Dorothy Gwajima held discussions with her Kenyan counterpart Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe in Nairobi and resolved to foster good bilateral relations in all matters health.

The two ministers agreed that cross-border issues such as transport, Covid-19 testing and validation systems for those leaving and entering the countries will be resolved.

Speaking to journalists at Afya House in Nairobi on Thursday, Dr Gwajima welcomed what she termed “a new wind of co-operation,” asking the two countries to use the friendship they are nurturing to better the people living in the two countries. She urged the two countries to share insights on how best to deal with Covid-19.

“This is not the only disease that will be with us, other diseases will come in future and we should take lessons from Covid-19 and use them moving forward,” she added.

“This bilateral engagement goes a long way not only to emphasise the value of good health but also to confirm and even cement the cordial relationship the two countries have enjoyed over the years,” said Mr Kagwe.

He added that the country will revise some of the containment measures that affect both country’s trade sectors. “Trade is among the most affected sectors of the economy yet it plays a huge role in ensuring citizens earn a living,” said Mr Kagwe.


Dr Gwajima also revealed that she had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic.

“Herbal medicines, exercise, paracetamol and concoctions are what kept me and other Tanzanians going,” she said. Tanzania was among the last countries to agree to have vaccines as part of the fight against the pandemic.

“Before the introduction of vaccines we used herbal medicines to cure various diseases, which is why when struck by COVID-19 we chose to follow our own contextual approach, herbal and local medicines, which history and experience has proven to be effective,” Dr Gwajima said.

“Our president looked at data from other parts of the world, which were convincing enough since infection rates were going down after vaccination,” she added.