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Kenya, Netherlands partner to improve healthcare services        

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Kenya and the Netherlands have entered into partnership to transform the health sector and improve the well-being of the citizens of the East African nation.

A delegation from the Netherlands comprising of 20 companies and academia in the field of health sciences visited Nairobi on Wednesday to explore opportunities for cooperation with their local counterparts to offer integrated healthcare solutions in growth and investment in the sector.

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu said the two countries will identify specific sustainable innovations that will scale up solutions to contribute to improved healthcare delivery in Kenya.

“Kenya and her partners is committed to ensuring that citizens have equitable and affordable access to the highest attainable quality of healthcare,” Mailu said.

He noted that the country is committed to strengthening partnerships at both the local and international levels to ensure that the pledge to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is realized.

“The Netherlands has a world renowned health system and related healthcare solutions that can be of great benefit to this country by strengthening partnership,” Mailu said.

The 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey shows that Kenya has made important strides to improve maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria and Tuberculosis control and child mortality ratios are on the decline.

However, despite these achievements, the country faces resource constraints given the competing needs for limited fiscal space.

Mailu said by increasing universal access to affordable quality, promotive, preventative and curative primary health care, Kenya will be well positioned to efficiently and effectively make further progress in addressing its double burden of communicable and non-communicable conditions.

Over the last three years, the Kenyan government has worked with various private sector organizations to improve access to quality healthcare through the Management Equipment Service (MES) project, an initiative through which 98 hospitals spread across the country have been equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.

The Netherland’s Vice-Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Erik Gerritsen, said both Kenya and Netherlands are faced with major social challenges when it comes to accessible and quality healthcare owing to a growing number of people with chronic condition.

“Kenya has achieved significant progress over the years in improving health outcomes and utilization of health services and the opportunity to set its health systems on a path to sustainability is unprecedented,” Gerritsen said.

He said there is an opportunity for Kenya to follow a different path because the country has at its disposal multiple innovations that were not evident or possible for developed economies.

“Leapfrogging, or taking innovative shortcuts that are cost-effective, scalable and easily accelerated is the way to achieve an ‘ideal’ health system,” he stated.




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