By Samuel Ouma
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is set to partner with Kenya to establish manufacturing plants for medicine and vaccines in the latter.
The collaboration will also cover scaling up of human resources for health through trainings and exchange programmes.
Speaking during a meeting with Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Friday, April 22, 2022, the Foundation’s Global Development Division, Dr. Christopher Elias also pledged to support Kenya in Achieving Universal Health Coverage besides continued Covid-19 support.
Dr. Elias said they are happy to follow the country’s journey in achieving UHC adding that the country is a pace setter in the region.
“We are happy to follow the progress made here, including the launch of UHC in February. I am taking time to learn from other countries and their journeys as well. Kenya is an example in the region and indeed some of the work we are doing in other countries such as Ethiopia is based on our lessons here in Kenya,” said Dr. Elias.
On his part, CS Mutahi Kagwe thanked the foundation for the support it gave Kenya during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also challenged the Foundation as funders to influence their beneficiaries to support local manufacturing of medical commodities by purchasing from local manufacturers.
He noted that the country has moved to promote local manufacturing by extending tax relief through different measures to pharmaceutical manufacturers. He additionally said the manufacturing efforts will benefit from the setting up of logistics hubs in the country.
“We will also have WHO presence as who are setting up a logistics hub in the country meaning they will set a base for support to the region.
We hope that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be instrumental in supporting our efforts to become a pharmaceutical manufacturing hub. We hope GAVI and others will be acquiring commodities from local manufacturers,” added the CS.