September EACPressRelease; The East African Community Secretariat in collaboration with Kenya’s State Department of East African Affairs and the Ministry of Health is organizing a five-day dissemination workshop on EAC regional health projects and programmes for health sector stakeholders, line Ministries, Departments, Agencies, and County Health Officers taking place from 28th September to 2nd October, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The overall objective of the workshop is to bring on board different stakeholders and policy makers at different levels with the aim of raising the participants’ awareness and uptake of EAC health projects and programmes.
It is expected that the workshop will lead to better understanding and improved knowledge about the EAC health sector, its vision, projects and programmes among the policy makers, and the general public in Kenya.
It is also anticipated that the forum will result in improved support, buy-in, ownership and implementation of EAC Health Projects and Programmes; enhanced coherence in policy development and implementation of health programmes within government in view of ongoing initiatives at the EAC level, and; enhanced information sharing between the National and County Governments.
The EAC Secretariat has developed a Regional Health Sector Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which has a number of projects and programmes aimed at the realization of better health in the region. These include the Open Health Initiative (OHI); East African Medicines Regulatory Harmonization (EAC-MRH) Programme; Population Health and Environment (PHE) Programme; and the EAC HIV and AIDS, TB and STI Programme whose Strategic Plan and Implementation Framework (2015 – 2020) was approved by the EAC’s policy-making organ, the Council of Ministers.
Despite the fact that all these initiatives are ongoing at the regional level, policy makers, the general public and other relevant stakeholders are not well informed of them. This knowledge gap extends to health stakeholders and practitioners, manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, line ministries and institutions and more recently county government officials. Health is a devolved function under the new Constitution of Kenya which came into effect in 2010.
The lack of adequate information on EAC health projects and programmes makes it hard for implementation of various decisions and directives by the EAC Health Ministers at the national levels. This further impacts negatively on the ability by various stakeholders and pharmaceutical manufacturers to take advantage of emerging markets within the EAC region.
Though health is a devolved function, decisions at the regional level have direct impact on the delivery of health care services hence the need for policy makers at both levels of government to be conversant with the various directives/decisions and resolutions. There is also a need to increase the uptake of the EAC programmes and projects by the general public for full realization of the envisioned benefits.
It is therefore critical that the health stakeholders and practitioners, manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceutical products, line ministries departments and agencies as well as health officials in the county governments are sensitized on the ongoing projects and programmes.
The dissemination workshop will be conducted at two levels. The high level government policy makers will briefed on spot visits in their boardrooms on specific EAC Health Programmes and projects. It is expected that each of these sessions will have targeted messages and will last for not more than one hour.
The proposed Ministries to be visited include: Ministry of Health, National Treasury, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development, Government of Nairobi City County, and the State Department of East African Affairs. This will then be followed by a two-day workshop for targeted middle level policy makers and implementers scheduled for 1st and 2nd October, 2015 at the Grand Laico Regency Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.