The Government through the Ministry of Health (MoH) is committed to supporting rehabilitation services by fully strengthening the services through the expanded multi-disciplinary workforce.
Rehabilitative services are very key as they are promotive, preventative, and curative services which constitute the building blocks of the health system in Kenya.
The need for rehabilitation services in the country is increasing rapidly, due to the health trends and lifestyles that expose people to high rates of injuries and trauma, chronic diseases, and survival of people living with the consequences of disabilities.
In a statement read on his behalf by Dr. David Soti, Head of Division of Preventive and Promotive Health Services at the Ministry of Health, during the launch of the National Rehabilitation Conference 2021(NRC 2021), the Ag. Director-General in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth, said the MoH in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) is establishing an assistive technology Center of Excellence in Kenya to serve the region.
“The Centre shall include a rehabilitation school, a manufacturing unit for the assistive devices and One-Stop-Shop for rehabilitative services,” added Amoth.
He noted that in order for Kenyans to achieve better rehabilitative services, there is an urgent need for coordinated and concerted action plans, through multi-disciplinary and trans-sectorial partnerships and collaboration.
Amoth said in its commitment, the government is looking forward to achieving increased public investment into rehabilitation services.
He lauded the Rehabilitation Professional Societies of Kenya and partners for laying the important foundation, by mobilizing the key actors and stakeholders who are involved in organizing the inaugural National Rehabilitation Conference 2021, scheduled for November 2021 with a theme “Rehabilitation Services for all”
The Deputy Director of Medical Services, Nairobi Metropolitan Services, Dr. Musa Mohamed, during the 2021 NRC Launch said the government in support of the rehabilitation services have already recruited more than 2,000 professionals in the field with 17 of them being physiotherapists, 10 occupational therapists and in the processes of recruiting more physiotherapists so as to reach people in the remote areas.
A representative of the Rehabilitation Professional Societies, Mrs Catherine Nzau, A Speech, and Language Therapist, said the Conference is very important for them because it shall give awareness to the Kenyans who are affected.
Nzau said many Kenyans are not aware that after stroke, one should visit a Physiotherapist to regain their speech and that the conference comes at the right time when their services have been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“Our services can’t be done virtually, so our aim is to train more people to have the knowledge of some exercises that they can do on their own at home,” added Nzau
The WHO recognized Rehabilitation as the key driver for health in the 21st Century and launched the call for action dubbed “Rehabilitation 2030” initiative and by inclusion of human functioning as a third health indicator after morbidity and mortality.
By Catherine Muindi