September 1, 2020

Expanding Efforts and Strategies to Protect and Improve Public Health in Kenya Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Peter Rabinowitz

Funding has been awarded to principal investigator Dr. Peter Rabinowitz by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for "Expanding Efforts and Strategies to Protect and Improve Public Health in Kenya Department of Health and Human Services."



Rift Valley Fever, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the country’s need to further increase capacity to prevent, detect and respond appropriately to highly infectious diseases and other emerging threats to health security. While Kenya has made tremendous progress in building various capacities for IHR including development of a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) based on the 2017 Joint External Evaluation (JEE) for Kenya, the IHR State Party Annual report of 2019 (SPAR report 2019), indicates that significant gaps remain. Figure 1 shows the Most IHR capacity scores for Kenya were below the WHO Afro countries average and the global average, with particular weaknesses in areas of legislation and financing, IHR coordination, surveillance, human resources, National Health Emergency Framework, health service provision, risk
communication, points of entry, chemical events, and radiation emergencies. The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), based at the University of Washington (UW) has been working on GHSA in Kenya and is uniquely positioned to support the Government of Kenya and the Ministry of Health (MOH) as it works to improve systems for GHS. Since 2016, I-TECH has had a collaborative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support the Global Health Security Agenda in Kenya.

Under this CoAG, UW I-TECH Kenya has supported Kenya MOH to strengthen laboratory systems, improve health facility capacity for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), track immunization coverage with mobile devices, improve surveillance data quality and efficiency, train the GHS workforce, and work with technical working groups (TWG) on mapping health system vulnerability to outbreaks. I-TECH’s approach to health systems strengthening is based upon a technical assistance model that embraces MOH capacity building and progressive transition of systems to MOH leadership and management from the outset. Our productive working relationships with the MOH and other strategic partners and deep existing involvement in strengthening Kenya’s health systems prepare us to rapidly scale-up technical assistance in support of Kenya’s IHR plans with special emphasis on NAPHS and GHSA.

The purpose of this proposal is to further support the Global Health Security program in Kenya to protect and improve health through national, sub national and local partnerships. I-TECH will work with CDC, MOH, and multiple stakeholders to a) prevent avoidable epidemics including naturally occurring outbreaks and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens, b) detect threats early, including detecting, characterizing and reporting emerging public health threats, and c) respond rapidly and effectively to public health threats of national and international concern.

I-TECH will focus efforts in six critical areas: 1) national laboratory systems, 2) surveillance, 3) human resources (One Health training) for animal and human sectors, 4) public health emergency management and response, 5) strengthening implementation of the IHR monitoring and evaluation framework, and 6) strengthening implementation science programs and platforms.

Sponsor Award Number: NU2HGH000029