United States and Kenya Partner on The Establishment of a National Public Health Institute

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The United States Government through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI) supported a stakeholder’s workshop to advance the establishment of a National Public Health Institute (NPHI) in Kenya. This meeting reflects the shared vision of a world safe from public health threats.

NPHIs are science-based government institutions or organizations that promote health by conducting and coordinating public health functions and programs to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats. Kenya is building upon over 40 years of partnership with the CDC to advance this agenda.

During the two-day workshop held February 19-20, participants from the Kenya Ministry of Health (MOH), the Department of Veterinary Services, the World Health Organization and other partners discussed Kenya’s plans to establish the NPHI and developed ideas about a way forward to bring the institute to fruition.

The CDC Kenya Country Director, Dr. Marc Bulterys, added, “We are in an era of emerging and re-emerging public health threats. Public health functions are best served when there is a single focal point. For Kenya to establish a strong national public health Institute it’s going to take commitment, it’s going to take leadership, and it’s going to take an active champion to guide these efforts over the next many months. I applaud all of those who have previously engaged in the discussions about Kenya’s NPHI. I appreciate their commitment and their dedication to seeing this key public health function become a reality.”

To start the meeting, Dr. Daniel Langat, Head of the Kenya Ministry of Health, Department of Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Response said, “this meeting has come at the right time as we have the global threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The NPHI is something that has been in the pipeline for some time. We must ensure that we have this institute in place to better coordinate responses from the national level.”

The meeting helped establish a road map to bring together essential public health functions from across the Ministry of Health toward establishing an NPHI. Dr. David Soti, from the MOH Office of the Director General in his introductory remarks stated, “we must continue to work together towards the dream of establishing a Kenya NPHI by 2022”.

In closing the meeting, Dr. Abel Nyakiongora described the desire of the Government of Kenya to advance the Kenya NPHI as part of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue between Kenya and the United States.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S Embassy Nairobi, Kenya.

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