NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A five-day international conference on drug
demand and reduction kicked off in Nairobi on Monday with Kenya
committing to step up fight against drug menace and substance
abuse in the country.
The conference, organized by Kenya’s National Authority for the
Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) in
collaboration with the African Union (AU), brought together more
than 1,000 delegates from across the globe.
In his opening remarks, Fred Matiang’i, Kenya’s Cabinet
Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government,
called on the international community to join efforts to tackle
the drug menace which he said was a global problem.
“Kenya is committed to collaborate with the international
agencies to ensure that criminals dealing in drugs are arrested
and arraigned in court,” said Matiang’i.
He said the east African nation is already cooperating with the
international community by deporting those engaged in the
international illegal trade in drugs.
He said that drug sale and abuse is a global problem that Kenya
being one of the sufferers will participate in its reduction
“Besides regional efforts, we have also put in place a multi-sectoral
team that includes faith based institutions to help reduce drug
abuse in the country,” said Matiang’i.
Matiang’i noted that a drug abuse is a major problem in Kenya,
especially with the young people in primary and secondary
A survey recently conducted by NACADA in Kenya shows that
alcohol and drug abuse is slowly being dropped by people.
It, however, shows alcohol use has been associated with the
highest burden of substance use disorders in the country.
The survey was the third follow-up of the 2012 and 2007 surveys
that have been conducted to find out the trend of alcohol and
drug use in the country to guide policy and programs.
back ambitious Kenya universal health plan
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday
endorsed Kenya’s ambitious Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
program which seeks to ensure that all Kenyans access quality
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesos, WHO director-general, said he will
mobilize the top leadership of the global health body to attend
the launch event on Thursday, which will kick start the pilot
phase of the UHC program in four counties, President Uhuru
Kenyatta’s office said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
“Kenya is starting its UHC journey. Your country is trailblazing
a new trend in Health in Africa,” Ghebreyesos said when he
hosted the president at the start of the first management
meeting of the organization outside its headquarters in Geneva.
He assured President Kenyatta that WHO is committed to support
the country’s UHC, describing Kenya as a trailblazer in Africa.
The Nairobi meeting brings together the global leadership of WHO
as they commence the implementation of the 13th
General Programme of work, 2019-2023.
Kenya plans to rollout its UHC program on a pilot basis in four
out of the 47 counties.
The ministry of health says use of Kisumu, Isiolo, Nyeri and
Machakos as samples would generate the required feedback to
guide the countrywide rollout afterwards.
UHC is part of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, comprising
of food security, manufacturing, affordable housing and
universal healthcare and is meant to ensure all Kenyans have
access to quality healthcare.
Kenyatta, who opened the three-day WHO meeting in Nairobi, said
the attainment of UHC in Kenya is not a destination but a
continuous process which will involve constant widening of the
social safety nets to ensure that no one is left behind as the
country strives to achieve its national health aspirations.
He said Kenya has made good progress in uplifting the health of
her people, gaps still exist in terms of service coverage,
quality and human resource distribution across the country.
According to Kenyatta, UHC is aimed at addressing the financial
burden that perennially drives some Kenyans to poverty and
subsequently slowing down the economy.