- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
The Ministry of Health has pledged its commitment towards the control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) by increasing financial support and political will in the fight against these diseases.
The Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said the ministry has trained and deployed staff, equipped regional labs and deliberately built capacity in mapping of NTDs and monitoring of interventions.
In a speech during the 11th Annual Neglected Tropical Diseases Conference in Nairobi today, the
themed ‘Partnership towards the achievement of the global goals for control, elimination and eradication of Neglected Tropical Diseases’ he said there was already existing plan giving directions on the matter.
“The second Kenya National Strategic Plan for Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (2016-2020), outlines the approaches with which control and elimination of all NTDs of public health importance will be pursued and achieved, saying these diseases remain a major problem mostly due to poverty, lack of safe water, proper sanitation, hygiene education and housing,” he said.
By building on past successes, the ministry aims to foster and build more partnerships through effective advocacy, which in turn calls for a strong coordination mechanism, resulting in a well-integrated Control Program.
Four years ago, the NTD Program was established within the Ministry to spearhead resource mobilization and leverage cost-cutting through a well-coordinated, integrated and efficient Program.
“The Kenya National school-based deworming program, which the Ministries of Health and Education partner in its implementation is a success story, with an estimated 80 per cent of all eligible school-age children receiving preventive chemotherapy annually, and therefore reducing absenteeism from school by about 25 per cent.
The further said the Lymphatic Filariasis control program, recently re-launched in 2015 is currently in its 3rd year of consistent implementation, and that more than 2.5 million people who are at risk of morbidity, disability and stigmatization are receiving drugs every year within the coastal region.
This, he said has put the country well on course towards achieving the global goal of eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis by the year 2020. This year, Kenya is looking forward to being declared Guinea worm free.