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Kenya, Pakistan Partner to Improve Health Services

by Zablon Ondari
2 mins read

Kenya and Pakistan have pledged to work closely to together to address the existing healthcare gaps within the two nations.

A meeting between Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and Pakistani High Commissioner to Kenya Syeda Saqlain held on Thursday, 16th November, agreed to review current partnerships with a view to improving health services.

According to Health CS Kagwe, there is a need to develop an elaborate and structured partnership as previous arrangements have failed to achieve the desired results.

“We have had a lot of discussions in the area of health and I don’t think we have made much progress. Diplomatic engagements and partnerships should be accompanied by action.”

He said Kenya was ready to work with Pakistan to improve access, affordability and quality of healthcare in line with the Universal Health Coverage agenda.

“We are trying to get the cost of health commodities down. It’s important to fast-track within pharmacy and poisons board to register drugs. What we need to know is the determination of drugs that are efficacious. It must be medicines that are in use in Pakistan. We are not interested with those not in use in your country,” said Kagwe.

Citing the partnership between Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital and Christie Foundation and the University of Manchester, the CS said Kenya was keen on establishing digital linkages between hospitals and health personnel.

“That is why we are keen on exchange programmes so that in the future we can have technology-enabled solutions, including surgeries. For us, that is an important part of the protocol we are working on,” he added.

Pakistani High Commissioner Saqlain said her country would support Kenya with technical and human capital in the ongoing efforts to reform the health sector.

“We can work on the exchange of specialist doctors and e-health. We are also keen on bringing Pakistani commodities to Kenya. Our pharmaceutical manufacturing sector is highly subsidised by the government and the industry is producing a lot of generic products, making their cost of purchase very reasonable,” she added.

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