Kenya to Form a National Working Group to Address Non-Communicable Diseases

Source: Gtzblog
by atia on August 29th, 2011
The formation of a National Working Group and a Secretariat and the formation of an international advisory team were among the concrete next steps at the national Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) forum concluded last week. Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o the minister for Medical Services concluded the three day forum (24-26August 2011) with a promise that the Government will focus its attention on NCDs, acknowledging the importance of equitable access to quality and comprehensive care for people with or at risk of NCDs. The ministries of health committed themselves to the strengthening of the healthcare system based on primary care; and calling for action(s) both by the Government, as well as by the civil society, private sector, local and international partners.

NCDs have emerged as a serious challenge, both for the economic development and attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), causing and accelerating poverty, curbing productivity, and enhancing healthcare costs. The 2002 World Health Organization report showed that NCDs cause about 32% of total mortality in Kenya.

Responding to the 2008 World Health Assembly resolution endorsing the Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, the Kenyan Health Policy identified specific areas for reform on NCDs, and the Ministries of Health intends to develop a relevant comprehensive national policy.

The sincere intention and commitment of the Ministries of Health of the Government of Kenya led to the organization of the first NCD workshop, hoping to represent and become the voice of the Africa region in the UN High Level Summit on NCDs in September 2011.

The NCD forum was a concerted effort of various stakeholders, namely, World Health Organisation (WHO), GIZ including Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and Ministry of Medical Services.

The German Development Cooperation through GIZ has partnered with the Ministries of Health to provide technical assistance in the emerging issues in the developing economies that shape up the health systems of the nations. This it does through both technical as well as financial support to ensure that Kenyans have access to affordable and equitable healthcare.

The national forum held in Naivasha, started with a Pre-Forum opening session facilitated by the Permanent Secretary, Ministers from both Ministries, WHO and GIZ. The Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya officially launched the auspicious event.

This was followed by a 3-day workshop:

* Day-1 covering Global and Regional Perspectives of NCDs; Health and Socio-Economic Impacts of
* NCDs in Kenya; and Providing a Continuum of Care from Primary Prevention to Palliative Care.
* Day-2 covered Experiences from Kenyan Abroad; Best Buys Approach: Country Approaches; and Strengthening Health Systems for NCDs in Kenya.

Last day had sessions on Multi-Sectoral and Integrated Approaches for NCDs; Learning from and Collaborating with others; and Way forward and Call for Action.

GIZ made four presentations covering the topics of:

* The Economics of NCDs and Country Development;
* Case Study: Life of a NCD Patient;
* Germany’s Experiences in Tackling NCDs in the Context of Their Aging Population; and
* Costing of Palliative Care for Children in Kenya.

To keep the commitment there will be a second follow-up forum on NCDS in 2012 and a sessional paper on NCDs as well.

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