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Kenyan Health Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha Meets with US Department of Health to Strengthen Health Collaboration

Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Health, Nakhumicha S. Wafula, engaged in high-level discussions with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) leadership, led by Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, aiming to fortify Kenya’s health sector through a series of collaborative initiatives.

The meeting focused on several key areas, including the enhancement of regulatory frameworks to elevate the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB) to Maturity Level 3. This upgrade is intended to ensure robust regulatory practices within Kenya’s pharmaceutical sector. 

Additionally, there was an emphasis on strengthening partnerships between the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and US counterparts to advance biomedical research.

A significant portion of the discussions revolved around the need for increased health resources to support infrastructure development and the training of healthcare professionals in Kenya. The US also pledged its support for the operationalisation and regulatory framework development of Kenya’s Digital Health Agency.

During her visit, CS Nakhumicha toured the Secretary Operations Centre (SOC) to gain insights into advanced operational protocols, showcasing the US’s sophisticated health management systems.

Present at the meeting from the US side were Andrea Palm, Deputy Secretary for HHS; Kimberlee Trzeciak, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legal and International Affairs; Elise Sweeney Anthony, Executive Director of Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC); Capt. Alpa Patel, Acting Deputy Director at the Office of Global Health; Marita Eibl, Associate Director at the Global Health Centre, CDC; and Dr. Elana Clarke, Director of the Africa and Middle East Office, OGA.

The Kenyan delegation included Nakhumicha S. Wafula, EGH, Cabinet Secretary for Health; Dr. Patrick Amoth, Acting Director General for Health; Prof. Elijah Songok, Acting Director General and CEO of KEMRI; Dr. Erick Muok, Principal Research Scientist at KEMRI; Dr. Jean Gitau, Head of the Division of International Health Relations and Global Health Security; and Justus Bundi.

Cabinet Secretary Nakhumicha expressed her optimism about the outcomes of the meeting, stating, “This collaboration with the US Department of Health and Human Services marks a significant step forward in enhancing Kenya’s healthcare capabilities. 

The shared commitment to advancing biomedical research, improving regulatory standards, and developing health infrastructure will greatly benefit our nation.”

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