Government urged to strengthen disease surveillance systems

The Association of Kenya Medical Laboratory Scientific Officers has called on the government to strengthen disease surveillance systems to curb outbreaks caused by bacteria and viruses.

The Association Chairman, Dr. Michael Wanga said epidemiology and surveillance system in the health sector should be strengthened so as to secure the public health system.

Speaking on Saturday during a conference in Eldoret, Wanga said they have trained a number of laboratory professionals on emerging health issues as one way of being prepared to handle disease outbreaks.

This profession is very critical in diseases diagnosis. We have put up contingency measures on the ground to combat the current persistent cholera outbreak in the country. We have so far trained over 10, 000 professionals who have to conduct microbiological and other tests to confirm disease types during outbreaks, he explained.

The association urged the government not to ignore the outbreaks in terms of bio-safety and bio-risk as well as bio-terrorism, warning that bacteria could be used in gatherings as a form of terrorism.

They urged the Council of Governor and Unions in the Kenya Health Professional Society to negotiate on the ongoing nurse’s strike that has a paralyzed the health sector for several months now.

Echoing the same sentiments, the Vice Chair of the Association, Safari Kithu called upon the devolved units and the national government to dialogue so that health facilities do not continue being closed down because of strikes.

The health sector has been facing a lot of crisis, on and off strikes from doctors, nurses and other medical personnel and we need to end this sad state of affairs to save Kenyans from further suffering, added Kithu.

Source: Kenya News Agency