President Kenyatta Arrives in Geneva for 75th World Health Assembly

President Kenyatta Arrives in Geneva for 75th World Health Assembly (News Central TV)

According to State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at the World Health Complex in Geneva, Switzerland, on Sunday for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly (#WHA75).

This comes after the global health regulator last week announced that the theme of this year’s Health Assembly is: Health for peace, peace for health.

“The Covid-19 pandemic and other health emergencies with international reach have highlighted the leadership and coordinating role of WHO in responding to such events. Strengthening preparedness for and response to health emergencies are a key theme of the Health Assembly.

Events will begin with a high-level segment on May 22 with speeches from the elected Health Assembly President, Heads of State, special guests, an address by the WHO Director-General and the presentation of the Director-General’s Health Awards,” WHO said.

“This year’s session is the first in-person Health Assembly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and is being held under the theme of: Health for peace, peace for health,” State House confirmed President Kenyatta’s attendance.

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Kenyatta believes that the international community can work together to improve the country’s health-care systems.

“Covid-19 is the biggest moral failure in our lifetime. 1.8 billion in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are yet to receive their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine”, President Kenyatta said.

He applauded the creation of the WHO Academy. The cutting-edge training facility will provide advanced digital and classroom training to health workers and others worldwide.

The Covid-19 technology access pool (C-TAP) is a global one-stop shop for developers of Covid-19 therapeutics, diagnostics, vaccines, and other health products. It aims to reach 10 million learners by 2023.

It will allow researchers to voluntarily share their intellectual property, data, and knowledge with multiple quality-assured manufacturers and the WHO mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub, which was created to build capacity to allow low and middle-income countries to produce vaccines through a center of excellence and training.

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Apart from urging major global buyers of vaccines and essential medicines to prioritise purchasing locally manufactured health products from developing countries, Kenya’s President reaffirmed his country’s support for a WHO Pandemic Treaty.

This comes after a group of 25 world leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announced a new treaty on pandemic preparedness and response in March 2021 in a joint statement.

“There will be other pandemics and other major health emergencies. No single government or multilateral agency can address this threat alone. The question is not if, but when. Together, we must be better prepared to predict, prevent, detect, assess and effectively respond to pandemics in a highly coordinated fashion. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe. We are, therefore, committed to ensuring universal and equitable access to safe, efficacious and affordable vaccines, medicines and diagnostics for this and future pandemics,” the official document said.

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The initiative was adopted by WHO and will be negotiated, drafted and debated by a newly established intergovernmental negotiation body.

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