The Ministry of Health’s State Department of Public Health and Professional Standards has outlined proactive measures to bolster Kenya’s healthcare system, anticipating challenges posed by the El-Nino phenomenon later this year.
Principal Secretary Ms. Mary Muthoni Muriuki disclosed a comprehensive Contingency Plan for El-Nino, emphasizing support for the most vulnerable sectors of healthcare.
The multifaceted strategy comprises boosting health facility capacities to manage a probable increase in flood-linked accidents and waterborne ailments, guaranteeing consistent access to essential health services.
According to the Principal Secretary, the Ministry is collaborating intensively with County Governments and various partners to gear up for the event. This includes the potential establishment of temporary health centers in flood-prone regions or locations where standard healthcare infrastructure might be rendered unreachable. Emergency health supplies are being stockpiled to address the anticipated needs. On a national scale, the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre is up and running, broadcasting early alerts and warning signs. County-specific Emergency Operation Centres are being set up, with 18 already operational.
“Furthermore, the national Public
Health Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and is issuing early warning signs and alerts. County Emergency Operation Centres are also expected to be activated promptly, with 18 already established, and all counties are encouraged to establish and operationalize one,” the PS said.
The ministry’s strategy also involves community-awareness programs and response plans for water-related illnesses like Rift Valley Hemorrhagic fever, Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Malaria.
The Ministry reaffirmed its commitment to transparent communication, vowing to keep the public informed via established channels, and highlighted the readiness of Rapid Response Teams to spearhead initial assessments and formulate efficient responses in the aftermath of the floods.