The World Health Organisation (WHO) has picked Kenya as one of the African countries to host its centres for coordinating response to, and dealing with, medical emergencies.
A World Health Emergency Hub will be set up in Nairobi by the end of the year following the commendation by the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
The hub, which will start with 10 staff, will act as a sub-regional resource and response centre for Eastern and Southern Africa. WHO recommends at least 22 staff.
Health secretary Cleopa Mailu said the choice of Kenya to host the facility affirmed the country’s preparedness to handle emergency operations.
“We hope that the hub will contribute to capacity building of locals and build linkages for emergency action with local and international partners,” said Dr Mailu.
He said the ministry had taken measures to strengthen capacity in emergency medical care through technical assistance, provision of modern equipment and enhancing public and private partnerships.
“There have been some training on emergency medical care through agencies like the Kenya Red Cross, St Johns and others,” he said.
“We have also partnered with the National Hospital Insurance Fund to support emergency medical care and the government is in the process of rolling out the referral strategy and guidelines so far covering 22 counties.”