The Ministry of Health has reaffirmed its commitment to invest in robust health systems capable of preventing, detecting, and responding promptly to outbreaks.
It has further called on Kenyans, health partners, and counties to join hands in strengthening the country’s health systems to ensure readiness to respond to new outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics.
In a statement on Thursday, Mary Muthoni, Kenya’s Public Health Secretary, emphasized that the profound challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic highlight the crucial necessity of investing in early warning and prediction systems.
On Thursday, Kenya participated alongside the global community in commemorating the International Day for Epidemic Preparedness.
The day which was first commemorated in 2020, seeks to educate and raise awareness, in order to highlight the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for and partnership against epidemics.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Kenya has made strides in putting in place early warning and prediction systems and employing diverse surveillance systems encompassing routine data, community deaths, events and entry points screening.
Environmental and wastewater samples are rigorously collected and tested to detect potential infections circulating in the communities.
“Our commitment to advancing diagnostic capabilities, transitioning from molecular diagnostics to genetic sequencing, has significantly strengthened pandemic prevention efforts,” Muthoni said.
“The expansion of laboratory capacity, boasting over 100 PCR laboratories nationwide and a network of public health laboratories with 11 national reference laboratories underscores our dedication to staying at the forefront of health security,” the PS noted.
At the moment, the ministry, in collaboration with its partners, is conducting training for a versatile SURGE team.
This team consists of professionals from various disciplines, aiming to enhance their capabilities for efficient responses to pandemics at both local and regional levels.