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Kenya, France partner to strengthen health care systems

Gatundu Level 5 Hospital in Kiambu County is set to benefit from medical equipment support from the French Government amounting to approximately Sh90 million, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has said.

The support is part of Government partnership with France under France-Kenya Emergency Response to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic project valued at about Sh 2 Billion (Euros 15,510,493,) that was signed in December 2020 to strengthen the capacity for twenty County facilities

Speaking at Gatundu Hospital during tour of the facility by French Minister for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, Mr Franck Riester, the PS said the government has focused on strengthening Primary Health Care systems to provide community-based health services through a national framework and has also expanded Critical Care and Diagnostic Capacity.

“We are also establishing a Government-led digitization of health records and information systems for telemedicine and look forward to having Kenya and France clinical focus groups through the Telemedicine platforms,” she said.

The government, the PS noted has channeled strategic financial investments to the health sector geared towards health systems strengthening, both at national and County levels to accelerate attainment of Universal Health Coverage.

“There is also a concerted effort to bridge the gap in human resources with recruitment of an additional 2, 177 Interns under the youth empowerment programme and 8,229 contractual staff who were distributed across all the 47 counties,” the PS said.

Mochache appreciated the French Government terming it a strategic development partner to Kenya.

During the handover, Kiambu Governor Dr. James Nyoro also thanked the French Government for the support adding: “The timely support from France is reflective of the cordial relations between Kenya and France. This new oxygen plant will come in handy in our continued fight against Covid-19. The hospital will now have the capacity to even supply oxygen to Thika Level Five Hospital and Igegania Level Four Hospital,” he said.

In 2020, the French Government partnered with Kenya to strengthen the capacity of counties to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve maternal and infant health care.

The project financed through a concessional loan, includes the supply and installation of medical equipment mainly at COVID-19 isolation centers.

Some 20 health facilities are benefiting from the ongoing projects, with the last consignment of equipment expected to arrive in the country in November.

By Wangari Ndirangu

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