Kenya’s Ministry of Health announced Friday that it had allocated 30 acres (about 12 hectares) of land and 5 million U.S. dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO) for the establishment of a regional hub to respond to public health emergencies.
The ministry said in a release issued in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi that this move represents a significant step in strengthening emergency response efforts.
“This strategic initiative, falling under the Operations Support and Logistics (OSL) pillar, addresses a critical gap in managing the numerous public health emergencies faced by WHO-AFRO, totaling over 142 ongoing crises encompassing disease outbreaks and humanitarian challenges,” the ministry said.
It further stated that the creation of the hub in Kenya not only promises improved regional coordination but also aims to establish itself as a center of excellence for emergency operations.
Mary Muthoni, principal secretary in the State Department for Public Health and Professional Standards, expressed optimism about the hub’s potential for a brighter future in emergency response, benefiting not only Kenya but also the entire region.
According to the WHO, Africa experiences more than 100 health emergencies every year, including disease outbreaks such as cholera, COVID-19, and polio. The institution also noted that less than 10 percent of African countries have the capacity to prepare for, detect, and respond to health emergencies.