, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – British envoy to Kenya Christian Turner on Tuesday lauded the collaborative efforts between the private and public health organizations saying they have greatly boosted the improvement of the health sector in Kenya.
Turner explained that preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, cholera, pneumonia, measles and tuberculosis that cause needless deaths in children have been curbed through health education.
“Infant mortality has reduced by 32 percent through the working together of all players in the health sector and this is a fantastic trend that should be maintained in the long haul.
“Investments by both government and private health providers have ensured that awareness has risen in the country,” he said.
The envoy further promised, “my government will continue to support the Kenyan health sector and ensure that the providers are equipped with the skills to be able to provide the much needed care.”
AMREF Director General Teguest Guerma added that the Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) programme has been integrated as a policy by the government as a means of creating awareness on the importance of hygiene within communities.
“The PHASE programme began as a community project and when we presented it to the government having tested it in rural Kenyan communities it was taken up.
“Through the wall of the schools the children learn about the importance of hygiene and they take home these lessons taking them home to the parents and peers.
“This has seen the reduction of needless deaths in the country,” she explained.
Speaking at a 25 year anniversary to mark the partnership between AMREF and GlaxoSmithKline Guerma says they have managed to train medical practitioners in the field.
Guerma added that the project which was piloted within schools in informal settlements such as Kibera has further ensured that sanitation within the slums is now a community responsibility.
GSK’s partnership with AMREF has transformed health for 1.75 million people, and had a wider global impact on over three million people thorough the funding of health education programmes.
GSK has funded various health and education programs in AMREF such as malaria prevention and the Personal Hygiene and Sanitation Education (PHASE) which has since been adopted as a hygiene model by the Government of Kenya.
The phase programme has enabled over 1.5 million children in 16 countries across Africa to take park in the health and hygiene educative awareness.
The programme has seen the training of midwives and clinical officers across Africa which officials say has helped improve save lives of children and women who are the most vulnerable.