Ministry of Health (MoH) has launched the National Reproductive Health Priority Research and Learning Agenda (NRHPRLA) 2022 -2027 to call for unity of purpose in deed and resources among all research actors into fast-tracking search for answers to improvement of reproductive health maternal systems.
MoH Acting Director General for Health Dr Patrick Amoth said that the purpose of NRHPRLA is to seek evidence guidance on the ideal interventions to adress the citizens with unique Reproductive Health (RH) needs which include documenting the epidemiology of reproductive health needs at menopause and andropause.
Speaking at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday, Dr Amoth, in a speech read on his behalf by MoH Head of Family Health Department Dr Isaac Bashir, stated that a good reproductive health is not just the absence of disease but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in reproductive system.
“Every individual has the right to make their own choices about their sexual and reproductive health based on sound information from ethical and professional research,” said Dr Amoth.
Dr Amoth also noted that the co-ordination of the RH research will ensure that the priorities of Kenyans will be at the top of the research agenda to give answers to the RH challenges that need immediate concern.
“Currently a lot of resources are expended in Kenya undertaking RH research in every year. It is a significant investment that requires harnessing to improve the reproductive health of Kenyans,” he said.
The Ag Director General recommended the ministry’s coordinating role as forging partnerships between ministry and local institutions, building research capacity at the MoH division of reproductive health creating forums for dissemination and utilization of the findings and Developing national and international dissemination and utilization plans for RH information.
In his remarks, Bashir stated that the MoH is moving closer to comprehensive facilities so they can reduce the cost of referrals, logistic firmware and also to ensure that no child dies during birth.
“We request our partners and donors to help us align the research with our priorities and support us whether its from outside or from within,” he said.
On the other hand, the Head of Reproductive and Maternal Health Dr Stephen Kaliti stated that the nation needs to accelerate its progress by prioritizing Health Systems Research including adolescents and young people reproductive health, maternal and newborn health and family planning and disability.
“The research agenda has been organized to make it easy so you can be able to see it anywhere and the research teams are organized to reset the administration structure of the division productive health,” said Kaliti.
At the same time, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Director General Sam Kariuki in a speech read on his behalf by KEMRI Representative Dr Phelgona Otieno, called upon MoH to adequately fund the research because its implementation is expensive.
“It is very important for MoH to adequately fund the research because a good research is not for little money,” added Kariuki.
Meanwhile, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Director of Family Health Center of Excellence Lilian Mutea congratulated Kenyans Reproductive and Maternal Systems for achieving millennium goals making Kenya the seventh country to achieve USAID millennium goals.
“Upon the research agenda backlogs done, Kenya has a lot of frame work to be able to guide reproductive health sector, “said Mutea.
Other donors for the National Reproductive Health Priority Research and Learning Agenda include the Nursing Council of Kenya ( NCOK), Kenya Obstetrical Gynaecological Society (KOGS), FHI-360 and National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI).
By Rita Muthoni and Caroline Mbusa