| 21 April 2024, Sunday |

Kenya, World Health Organization launch emergency hub

The Kenyan government and the World Health Organization on Saturday opened the first of a network of African centers they claim will speed up responses to regional emergencies, a medical emergency hub in Nairobi.

A training center, a staff of experts who can respond to a medical emergency within 24 hours, and a supply of medical supplies will all be housed in the facility.

In every African nation, according to the WHO, these swift reaction teams should be established.

“We see the continent expressing in very practical terms its determination to be better prepared for the next pandemic… this is going to be our contribution to helping countries build their capacity to be much better prepared and better able to respond,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti told Reuters.

Kenya will become a regional hub for medical equipment, which will help neighbouring countries get required medicines faster.

There was no timeline on when the hub would be fully operational but WHO will start work on helping countries identify and train national emergency responders immediately, Moeti said.

Africa experiences over 100 health emergencies per year, more than any other region in the world, according to the WHO.

Currently, the global health body is monitoring events including potential cases of the highly infectious Marburg virus in Ghana, measles in the Democratic Republic of Congo and cholera in Cameroon – in addition to COVID-19 and monkey pox throughout the continent.

Floods, droughts, and conflict, which are on the rise in much of the region, also affect public health.

“All of this needs very solid preparations so that when things happen that are going to trigger an increase in vulnerability to disease and illness, the national systems are ready to manage that,” Moeti said.

  • Reuters