Kwale County Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on improving healthcare in the County.
USAID is an independent agency of the United States federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
The event held in Kwale town was presided over by area Governor, Salim Mvurya and Mark Andrew Meassick, who is the USAID Mission Director for Kenya and East Africa.
The partnership will throw weight towards the reduction of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) through community sensitization.
According to recent statistics released by the County Government of Kwale, the rate of HIV infection in the region is at 12%.
In addition, the partnership will cater to and better the health conditions of HIV-infected people through the supply of Antiretroviral (ARVS) drugs.
The MoU signifies the start of a closer collaborative partnership between the devolved unit and the international development agency that will result in enhancement of the health sector in the coastal county.
“This is a historical event that will see major improvement in our health sector. I thank USAID which has worked with Kwale County before on the area of health, youth and other areas of benefit to our people,” said Mvurya.
Pledging to continue with the close partnership, Mvurya said his administration has laid great infrastructure for the sector including construction of 150 dispensaries, up from 34 before the inception of devolution in 2013 and equipping them with personnel, medicine and equipment.
“We have hired enough personnel and will continue to do so to improve health service delivery to the people,” he said.
He went on, ‘my administration has prioritized the health sector in our planning and development and through this partnership, we are guaranteed that we shall better this sector’.
The County Boss disclosed that the USAID has been a strong pillar in the fight against the Covid-19 virus through the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPES) to health workers, face masks, and Covid -19 vaccines.
Mvurya assured USAID that the county government will support all agencies that will be working directly and indirectly towards the actualization of the agreement.
”I want to assure USAID that we shall play our roles and duties well as outlined in this agreement to help us achieve the larger goal of transforming the lives of the people of Kwale,” Mvurya said.
Meassick described the MoU signing as a landmark event praising the Mvurya Administration for ‘an amazing performance’ in the health sector that led to Kwale being rated number two best among the 47 counties.
“This MoU is significant in our USAID new policy of inclusive and people participatory development. It’s a signal to the people of Kwale, the county and national governments that we are serious partners. From now on, we can work directly and closely for efficiency, quality, transparency of the sector and we can engage in more funding,” said the USAID Director.
Meassick added that the United State Government is working closely with the national government to sustain the devolved units.
“The United States Government is a champion of the devolved government and we shall give full support to the devolved units in Kenya. Currently, we are working on policy formulation to aid the funding of the devolved units,” Meassick said.
The mission Director noted that the US government has intensified scientific research in search of HIV/AIDS cure.
He said the HIV/AIDS vaccine that is in the testing stage is a breakthrough towards eradicating the global epidemic.
Meassick was accompanied by Mand Lakhavani and Lilian Mutea among other senior officers.
By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi