NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7-The Ministry of Health has launched the first-ever Kenya Emergency Medical Care Program, and also inaugurated the National Steering Committee in Emergency Medical Care Policy.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman said the team will be tasked with implementing the operationalization of the policy, which is aimed at providing quality emergency care and in turn save lives.
The committee will serve for a period of three years.
“This is a great milestone towards providing quality health care and ensuring seamless coordination from the time of an emergency to a health facility will save lives,” he said.
Aman said the Policy 2020-2030 has mapped the resources required and provided approaches for sustainable financing that will ensure universal emergency care coverage in Kenya.
He said a strong monitoring and evaluation framework has also been incorporated in this policy to promote an effective, efficient, quality-driven and accessible EMC System in Kenya.
“The policy further provides guidance on the MOH as an oversight authority to regulate emergency medical care in Kenya and the utilization of the Emergency Medical Treatment Fund,” he said.
Head of Public Health Francis Kuria and the chair of the committee said they will provide a roadmap which will see the strategies and policy achievable within a period of five years.
Dr Kuria said they intend to create a needs-based emergency care for all as part of universal health coverage.
He said a range of interventions are outlined in the policy which include establishing a countrywide single short code, toll-free emergency medical care access number, map out ambulances that meet the minimum national standards, map out emergency departments that meet the minimum national standards, strengthen capacity for integrated EMC management, strengthen emergency medical care treatment and response to mass casualty incidents.
“The steering committee will draw a roadmap that will be rolled out for the national and county governments so that every Kenyan accesses medical care when and if needed, so that we don’t have anyone dying due to lack of access to emergency care,” said Kuria.
According to the Ministry of Health, lack of an EMC system has contributed to increased morbidity and mortality following medical emergencies such as building collapses, flooding, road traffic accidents, epidemics and terrorism.
Also cited is the absence of standardized ambulances which are in most cases not equipped for emergencies, unqualified personnel who are unable to provide life-saving interventions and lack of regulation.