By Samuel Ouma
Later this month, the World Health Organization is expected to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a logistics hub plant in Nairobi.
A virtual meeting between Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti resolved to fast-track construction of the facility that will be equipped with Emergency Medical Personnel, Commodities and equipment to support Kenya as well as other countries in the region.
Speaking during the meeting, the health CS said there was a need for Kenya and the region to adequately prepare for the next pandemic, adding that the Covid-19 epidemic provided critical lessons, especially for developing nations.
“One of the challenges we had during Covid-19 was supply. We must be prepared for the local supply of what might be needed in an emergency moving forward. It’s important to not just build a hub but also think about local manufacturing support,” said CS Kagwe.
According to Dr. Moeti, there is a need to work around partnerships especially building an efficient workforce bearing in mind Kenya’s expanded role, adding that the Hub will be a Centre of Excellence in Emergency Medical Training.
“Research in Africa is funded from outside. We need to make national investments in line with your proposal. On training, we are keen on ensuring we have the people we require when we need them, not just from Kenya but the region,” said Dr. Moeti.
The logistics hub is expected to build and support capacity in disaster management systems and technical expertise besides prioritizing high profile disease-specific strategies and timely risk assessment.
It will be set up next to Kenyatta University, Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital (KUTRRH).