Health CS Kagwe calls for increased investment in health systems

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Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe
Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe. PHOTO/COURTESY

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is calling for more investments in the health workforce if the world is to realize dependable and working health systems.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly in Geneva, the health CS said it was important for the world to refocus in having resilient health systems, supported by fit for purpose health workforce from production through active service for improved population health outcomes.

According to Kagwe, the investments must include establishment, training, and continuous capacity improvement of the health workforce.

African Countries, Kagwe added, must invest in health workforce and specialties that address their needs

“This is a critical investment that must therefore be applied efficiently to help achieve the desirable health outcomes. It is imperative that the existing health workforce should be fit for intended need and use. This is reinforced by the experiences faced during the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed weaknesses in global health care systems. Said the CS.

He said Africa, like the rest of the world, is experiencing both demographic and epidemiological transitions, coupled with inherent challenges and opportunities.

“Using the existing evidence, African Countries must invest in health workforce and specialities that address their needs. In this regard, efforts must be made to strengthen the health workforce at this level including the community health workers and structures”, added Kagwe who was representing President Uhuru Kenyatta at the forum.

The health CS observed that Kenya has already initiated a host of programmes that seek to address the gap amid a rise in emerging health threats that include non-communicable diseases, increase in antimicrobial resistance as well as emerging/re-emerging viruses including Ebola and other haemorrhagic fevers.

The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva, Switzerland and is the first in-person Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s Health Assembly is: Health for peace, peace for health.

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