KENYA:Health officials moved in major shakeup

July 2019 thestar; More than 100 officials have been moved in a big shakeup at the Ministry of Health.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the reshuffle was to align the ministry administration to the Health Act 2017. 

The changes began with a small reshuffle in April, which saw Dr Wekesa Masasabi become acting Director General of Health, a position created by the Health Act.

The director general is the technical advisor to the CS and supervises all the directorates.

In the latest reshuffle announced last week, former long-serving Director of Public Health Dr Kepha Ombacho returns to head a newly-created department of environmental health.

“In order to implement the Health Act 2017, it has been found necessary to restructure the ministry and deploy officers accordingly,” CS Kariuki said. 

The affected officials – 112 in total – were directed to assume their new roles by end of last week.

In the restructuring, the Director of Public Health remains Dr Patrick Amoth. The head of department of disease surveillance is Daniel Langat and the department of laboratory services is headed by Dorothy Njeru. 

Numerous departments were also created and, under them, new divisions. 

Department of strategic national public health programmes will be headed by Dr Joseph Kibachio, who was replaced as head of non-communicable diseases division by Dr Ejersa Waqo.

Dr Catherine Ngugi, a programme manager at the National Aids and STI Control programme, will head the new division of Nascop.

Tobacco control advocate Dorcas Kiptui has been elevated to head the newly-created division of tobacco control.

The move was praised by anti-tobacco advocates.

“If the tobacco control unit has been elevated to a division, we hope they can find a way to work smoothly with the Tobacco Control Board,” said Achieng Otieno, the advocacy officer at Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance.

Dr Charles Kandie will be acting head of the National Quality Control Laboratories, while Elizabeth Onyango will head the national TB  programme. 

Veronica Kirogo moves to the division of nutrition and dietetics while Gladys Mugambi will head division of health promotion. 

Dr Collins Tabu was retained to head vaccines and immunisation while Sheikh Mohammed remains head of family health.

Dr Joseph Sitienei will head the department of monitoring and evaluation while Dr David Kariuki heads department of health policy and research.

The CS also created the  Universal Health Coverage Secretariat made up of eight officials from different departments.

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