The Ministry of Health’s State Department of Public Health and Professional Standards is taking proactive measures to safeguard Kenya’s healthcare system in anticipation of the El-Nino phenomenon in 2023.
The State Department has created a thorough El-Nino contingency plan, with an emphasis on vulnerable regions within the healthcare system, according to Ms. Mary Muthoni Muriuki, Principal Secretary of the State Department of Public Health and Professional Standards.
This strategy includes improving the ability of healthcare institutions to handle the anticipated rise in flood-related accidents and waterborne illnesses while maintaining the ongoing delivery of critical healthcare services.
The PS stated that the Ministry has been collaborating closely with County Governments and Partners to guarantee preparedness and ability to set up temporary medical facilities in regions where residents may need to be rescued or evacuated, or where medical facilities may become inaccessible due to flooding. Emergency response health supplies and resources have been kept in stock to meet rising demand.
“Furthermore, the national Public Health Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and is issuing early warning signs and alerts. County Emergency Operation Centres are also expected to be activated promptly, with 18 already established, and all counties are encouraged to establish and operationalize one,” the PS said.
Community awareness and response strategies for diseases including diarrheal diseases have also been implemented, in addition to plans for water-related vector-borne illnesses such Rift Valley Haemorrhagic fever, Dengue fever, Chikungunya, and Malaria.
The Ministry of Health will continue to send information in accordance with established incident command system norms as the health situation changes since it is a crucial component of the larger Multi-Agency response mechanism of the government.
Rapid Response Teams are also equipped to make quick initial evaluations and plan for efficient responses, with an emphasis on post-flood recovery operations and improving infrastructure in places where health system restoration is necessary.