Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe has called for more collaboration among East African member states to address emerging health threats.
Speaking during a meeting with United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Steve Jackson and the newly appointed WHO country director 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 the EAC Council of Health Ministers, and your colleagues in the region will need to think 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,” the health CS said.
While welcoming the appointment of Diallo, Kagwe said his 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,” the CS said.
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 and deal with emerging health challenges.
Diallo said his appointment presents him with an opportunity to serve the people of Kenya having worked in the country before.
Before he was appointed the WHO country Director, Diallo was the Chief Executive Officer for the RBM Partnership to End Malaria a position he had held since 2019. Before joining the RBM Partnership, Dr Diallo served as Minister of Health for Guinea and Advisor to the President from 2016 to 2019, dealing with the Ebola crisis and subsequent rebuilding of the national health system.