Kenya and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched an emergency hub aimed at speeding up Africa’s health responses. The facility, situated next to a medical university, will also host a training centre, a medical stockpile hub as well as medical professionals who can be deployed across the continent faster during medical emergencies. The WHO says two more facilities will be built in West Africa, to bolster the continent’s self-reliance.
Breaking ground for one of Africa’s bold health initiatives. A medical emergency hub, a product of lessons learnt by the continent when the COVID-19 pandemic hit its shores in March 2020, exposing its weak health systems.
“We have significant gaps in preparedness that we must address, particularly in terms of the training and building up of an emergency workforce. A WHO analysis found that less than 10% of countries in the African region have the workforce required to prepare, detect and respond to public health risks,” says WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The facility will assist the WHO in creating quick responses to emergencies.
Statistics from the United Nations (UN) health agency indicate that Africa experiences at least 100 health emergencies every year.
The Hub will also be used to stockpile medical supplies and equipment which will improve its effectiveness and allow resources to be deployed to the field more quickly.
The commissioning of the hub is timely as it comes at a time when the continent is dealing with potential cases of the highly infectious Marburg virus in Ghana and a monkey pox outbreak.
It also comes at a time when the rest of the world is preoccupied with its own crises. The hub is expected to be fully operational in 2025.
VIDEO: Kenya, WHO launch an emergency hub aimed at speeding up Africa’s health responses