Health stakeholders meet to tackle sector challenges

By: EMMANUEL TOILI

Kenya’s health stakeholders are set to meet to step up the role of research in tackling health sector challenges.

The stakeholders will meet for two days in Naivasha during the 4th Annual Health Research-to-Policy Conference from November 27.

The conference, held by the ministry of health together with the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) will focus on strengthening national and county agency research for health.

The focus is an urgent issue in the country since Kenya has been implementing a devolved health care system since 2010.

Within this system, where the national government is charged largely with policy formulation and managing referral health facilities, and county governments are charged largely with providing health care services to Kenyans, critical and complex decisions have to be made, and these require relevant and timely research evidence.

The conference will not only deliberate ways in which both the national and county governments and other players can strengthen and enable increased research use, but will also discuss emerging research evidence on key health issues and its implications for policy and programmes.

Specifically, the conference will conduct a deliberative session on the priorities for health in Kenya, and which need to guide research generation in the country to ensure that this is responsive to the country’s urgent health issues.

Other partners co-hosting the conference include the Consortium for National Health Research (CNHR) and the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI).

The conference seeks clarity of Kenya’s priorities for research for health and will feed into on-going efforts, spearheaded by the CNHR, to develop a research for health policy framework for the country.

The framework will, among others, seek to increase local funding for research for health, as well as improve the coordination and translation of research into health policies and programmes.

The conference will also discuss emerging evidence on cancer, with a focus on Marsabit County, which has recorded increased incidences of cancer in the last few years. Further, the conference will deliberate new evidence on the health issues associated with Miraa consumption.

The conference will be officiated by the Cabinet Secretaries for Health and Education.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION