East African bloc boosts Kenya's disease surveillance at border points
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African bloc, on Monday provided Kenya with 8.95 million U.S. dollars worth of equipment to help strengthen disease surveillance at border points.
Fatuma Adan, IGAD head of mission to Kenya, said the equipment, including seven laptops and 37 desktop computers, will significantly contribute to the country's Universal Health program.
Adan, who spoke during the donation ceremony in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, noted that digitization is an important pillar in strengthening systems, including disease surveillance systems. She said the IGAD member states are in the process of developing the national roadmap for data sharing and protection policy both at the cross-border and national level.
The equipment will allow the flow of health information and data between the bloc member states toward containment and control of pandemics, and prevent propagation across borders.
Mary Muriuki, principal secretary for public health and professional standards in the Ministry of Health, said the equipment aims to implement a regional, transnational and real-time monitoring and analysis system in the IGAD region. "Their significance lies in the vital role they will play in our mission to foster cross-border collaboration and fortify our response to the myriad challenges that afflict public health."
She noted that the equipment will be instrumental in the quest to swiftly detect and contain outbreaks, preventing them from traversing the borders and jeopardizing the well-being of communities.
Muriuki said the donation will not only expedite disease identification but also augment the capacity to deploy effective interventions, adding that the equipment will also equip scientists and healthcare professionals with the necessary tools for precise diagnostics and ground-breaking research.