President Kenyatta launches construction of WHO Regional Operations Center and Logistics Hub

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday launched the construction of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Regional Operations and Logistics Center.

Speaking while presiding over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kenyatta University Teaching, Guidance and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) in Kiambu County, President Kenyatta hailed the decision WHO to set up the emergency center in Kenya.

Kenya is one of three African countries selected by WHO to host a logistics hub that will be equipped with emergency medical personnel, commodities and equipment to support countries in emergency situations in East Africa. East.

Senegal and Nigeria are the two other African countries selected to host the WHO hubs which will also be centers of excellence in emergency medical training with a capacity to respond to more than 100 crises at once.

President Kenyatta commended WHO for launching the innovative new initiative to improve the capacities of African countries to respond, in real time, to growing and complex health emergencies.

“An expanded and more multi-purpose emergency center in Kenya will allow WHO to efficiently and quickly support Kenya and all countries in eastern and southern Africa by maintaining stocks of medical and logistical supplies.

“It is against this backdrop that the WHO Regional Office for Africa has sought to strengthen and expand the WHO Emergency Center in Kenya, to coordinate high quality responses to health emergencies” , said the president.

To facilitate the start of hub operations, President Kenyatta said the government has allocated 30 acres of land adjacent to KUTRRH and committed $5 million for the operationalization of the hub.

“We will continue to work with other development partners to find more resources to support the completion and full operationalization of this hub,” the president said.

He added that the government has also provided WHO with free office space at KUTRRH to accommodate the initial staff of 150 needed to begin preparations for the establishment of the centre.

“This space has been identified on the Training, Research and Innovation (TRIC) building of KUTRRH,” President Kenyatta said.

The Head of State expressed his satisfaction that his directive to the National Treasury and the Kenya Revenue Authority to expedite the clearance of medical supplies from the Emergency Logistics Center has been implemented.

“I am pleased to note that the Kenya Revenue Authority, in conjunction with other government agencies, has developed an end-to-end flowchart for this expedited clearance process to ensure the smooth running of this facility.

“I would like to assure WHO of Kenya’s unwavering support in strengthening WHO as the global lead and coordinating entity for pandemic and other health emergency preparedness and response,” said the Chief of the State.

Meanwhile, President Kenyatta announced that Kenya has endorsed the WHO’s legally binding International Pandemic Treaty, which aims to enhance global solidarity, high-level political commitment and equitable distribution of vaccines, diagnostics and treatments during pandemics, especially in the developing world.

Earlier, President Kenyatta inaugurated a catheterization laboratory and the Onesmo Ole Moi-Yoi executive wing at Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, saying the two facilities are in addition to the increasing complement to the provision of health services in public hospitals.

KUTRRH Board Chairman, Prof. Olive Mugenda thanked President Kenyatta for playing an instrumental role in the development of the regional hospital.

“Thanks to your support we have an integrated molecular imaging center which continues to be a great blessing to many Kenyans and others in the region. So far we have scanned 1200 Kenyans who would otherwise have gone to India to get scanned,” Prof Mugenda said.

She pointed out that the opening of the Cath Lab will significantly address heart problems such as coronary heart disease and heart attacks, while the Onesmo Ole Moi-Yoi executive wing will help patients with conditions requiring personalized care.

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus said the construction of the Emergency Logistics Center and Center of Excellence marks Kenya’s continued partnership with his organization and the United Nations in general.

“President Kenyatta, I would like to express my gratitude and admiration for your leadership and vision in supporting WHO and for sponsoring this half that will help build a stronger and more resilient Africa,” the Director General said. of the WHO.

He said the center will help tackle at least 100 health emergencies each year, such as cholera, yellow fever, meningitis, measles and Ebola outbreaks, as well as humanitarian disasters including the food crisis. current.

Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe also addressed the ceremony which was attended by the Head of Civil Service, Dr. Joseph Kinyua and other senior government officials as well as representatives from the ‘UN. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya.

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