NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Kenyan ministry of health and partners have
commenced infrastructure upgrades and capacity development to
enhance surveillance of health-related emergencies like
bio-terrorism and spread of zoonotic diseases, officials said on
Director of Medical
Services, Jackson Kioko said that Kenya has prioritized
investments in modern technology and skilled manpower to
strengthen detection of public health threats that have spiked
against a backdrop of environmental changes, migration and
“Kenya is committed
to strengthen our capacity on real time surveillance of health
emergencies linked to movement of toxic materials and outbreak
of infectious diseases,” Kioko remarked at a forum in Nairobi.
The forum was
attended by policymakers and health experts to evaluate Kenya’s
capacity to respond to public health risks in line with
guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Kioko noted that
Kenya ranks among African countries with a robust detection and
reporting system for health emergencies.
“In the last decade,
Kenya has made strides in the area of law enforcement and
adoption of electronic surveillance technology to tackle threats
of bio-terrorism and zoonotic diseases,” said Kioko.
He added that
domestic financing, improved coordination, research and advocacy
has improved Kenya’s capacity to tackle public health risks
linked to medical waste and antibiotic resistance.
Kenya has developed
a comprehensive action plan to enhance its capacity to respond
to zoonotic diseases like Ebola and Bird Flu that are a
recurrent public health risk across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Director of
Medical Services said the East African nation has intensified
surveillance at ports of entry to prevent spread of virulent
epidemics transmitted by animals.
“Kenya has learned
vital lessons from the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa and
the recent outbreak of Bird Flu in Uganda. Our surveillance
systems are up to date to ward off those epidemics,” said Kioko.
institutions have partnered with Kenya to upgrade its
surveillance infrastructure in the wake of new public health
The WHO Country
Representative in Kenya, Rudi Eggers said that Kenya must
establish solid measures to enhance rapid detection and response
to public health threats linked to increased cross border travel