Uhuru turns to com­mu­nist Cuba for health­care sup­port

Kenya wants to part­ner with Cuba in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor, can­cer preven­tion and con­trol, med­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and train­ing of medics

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - JOHN MUCHANGI @jo­munji

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Kenya is ex­pected to travel to Cuba later this year, as Kenya seeks to align its health­care sys­tem to the Caribbean coun­try’s.

Cuba’s health sys­tem has been recog­nised by the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion as a model for de­vel­op­ing coun­tries such as Kenya.

Health CS Cleopa Mailu vis­ited Ha­vana last week. He met the coun­try’s Min­is­ter of Pub­lic Health Dr Roberto Mo­rales Ojeda and dis­cussed de­tails of the Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing that the Pres­i­dent will sign.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru is sched­uled to fly to Cuba from New York at the end of this month af­ter his trip to Canada and the US.

But State House yes­ter­day in­di­cated that the Cuban trip has not been con­firmed yet.

Kenya and Cuba will sign an MoU to col­lab­o­rate in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal sec­tor, can­cer preven­tion and con­trol, med­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, biotech­nol­ogy and train­ing of health work­ers.

“Cuba has one of the best health mod­els in the world. I be­lieve there is a lot we can share on health,” Uhuru said last month, when he bid farewell to Cuban Am­bas­sador Raul Ro­driguez Ramos.

The trip comes as State House hosts the first Health Sum­mit in Nairobi to­day.

“Among the is­sues to be dis­cussed in the sum­mit will be the suc­cess of the man­aged equip­ment ser­vices, which has dras­ti­cally im­proved health­care man­age­ment in Kenya,” State House spokesman Manoah Esip­isu said.

The man­aged equip­ment ser­vices project, a part­ner­ship of the na­tional and county gov­ern­ments, aims to equip two hos­pi­tals in each county with spe­cialised equip­ment.

Equip­ment be­ing in­stalled in­clude dial­y­sis ma­chines, ICU units, X-ray and mam­mog­ra­phy ma­chines.

“Some parts of the coun­try are see­ing CT scans and MRI ma­chines for the very first time and this is im­pact­ing di­rectly on the Kenyan peo­ple,” State House said yes­ter­day.

The sum­mit is ex­pected to be­gin at 7.30am and run for 90 min­utes.

Kenya is seek­ing a break­through in health­care with its limited re­sources.

More than 100 other coun­tries look to the ex­am­ple of Cuba, which has the same 78-year life ex­pectancy as the US while spend­ing four per cent per per­son an­nu­ally of what the US does.

Cubans call their sys­tem medic­ina gen­eral in­te­gral (MGI, com­pre­hen­sive gen­eral medicine). It fo­cuses on pre­vent­ing peo­ple from get­ting dis­eases rather than cur­ing them af­ter they are sick.



Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta greets a one-day-old baby named Uhuru when he com­mis­sioned med­i­cal equip­ment at the Mwingi Level 4 Hos­pi­tal in Ki­tui on June 12

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