Ministry of Health appoints teams to provide technical assistance to Counties on COVID-19 containment measures
Following a surge in COVID-19 cases, H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, CGH convened the Third Extraordinary session of the National and County Governments Coordinating Summit on 10th June, 2020. The session chaired by the President and attended by all the County Governors, sought to assess the Counties’ preparedness and Kenya’s overall national response and capacity to handle the disease.
Consequently, Health CS Sen. Mutahi Kagwe appointed team leaders and technical experts drawn from various institutions under the Ministry of Health. The teams, grouped into 11 regional clusters, are to provide Technical Assistance to the Counties on COVID-19 containment measures in addition to strengthening the health systems pillars for Universal Health Coverage.
The team leaders of the 11 clusters are: Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital CEO Dr. Wilson Aruasa (cluster 1); Chairperson NHIF Hannah Muriithi (cluster 2); Head of Disease Prevention Control, Ministry of Health Dr. Willis Akhwale (cluster 3); KEMSA Chairperson Sen. Kembi Gitura (cluster 4); Kenyatta National Hospital CEO Dr. Evanson Kamuri (cluster 5); NHIF CEO Dr. Peter Kamunyo (cluster 6); National Aids Control Council Chairperson Dr. Angeline Yamaton Siparo (cluster 7); President of the Kenya Medical Association Dr. Jackline Kitulu (cluster 8); KNH Chairperson Mr. George Ooko (cluster 9); Vice – President Clinton Health Access Initiative Dr. Gerald Macharia (cluster 10) and Kenya Medical Training College Chairperson Prof. Philip Kaloki (cluster 11).
Dr. Aruasa’s team has been assigned Counties in the North Rift which are: Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Baringo, Nandi, Turkana and Elgeyo Mrakwet while Ms. Muriithi’s team has been tasked with assisting Counties in the South Rift which are: Nakuru, Narok, Kericho and Bomet. Regional cluster 3 under the leadership of Dr. Akhwale will work with County Governments in the Nyanza region which are: Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii and Nyamira.
Sen. Kembi Gitura and his team will be working with the Nairobi County Government while Dr. Kamuri’s team deals with Counties in the Central region which are Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua and Kiambu. In the upper Eastern region, Dr. Kamunyo’s team will work with Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru County Governments. Dr. Siparo and her team will assist in the Lower Eastern region which has Machakos, Kitui, Makueni and Kajiado.
Counties in the Coastal region will have Dr. Kitulu and her team. The Counties are Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta. Mr. Ooko and his team will work with Counties in the Western region which are Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma. Dr. Macharia and his team will be in the North Eastern Region working with Garissa, Wajir and Mandera County Governments while Prof. Kaloki’s team will provide assistance to Counties in Central Rift and Upper Eastern region. The Counties are Laikipia, Samburu, Marsabit and Isiolo.
In carrying out their mandate, the team leaders are assisted by a team of experts and inspectors to assess health facilities within the Counties. The reports from these assessments are then sent daily to the National Advisory Committee for further action.
The teams have hit the ground running and have already assessed several health facilities in the Counties with the aim of finding mitigation measures for existing gaps. The exercise is expected to attain visible elevation of the Counties resilience and realization of heightened response capability to handle the current COVID-19 surge and related health conditions. Additionally, to align the outcomes towards strengthening of health systems in support of the national agenda on UHC.