The Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI), with the support of the International Pharmaceutical Federation of Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), has launched a report focusing on the need for collaboration of all stakeholders and actors within the healthcare space towards realizing universal healthcare in Kenya.

The report calls for a collaborative approach amongst the stakeholders to achieve Universal Health Care (UHC).

We believe together we can strengthen healthcare systems and achieve UHC over the next decade, ensuring everyone receives the care and treatment they need, and no one is left behind, KAPI Chairperson Willy Soriney said.

“Stakeholders across sectors need to come together to tackle the global challenges of healthcare systems. We must learn from one another and share our expertise. In doing so, we will establish meaningful partnerships to pool resources to ensure we play our part in helping the world achieve the SDGs over the next decade,” Mr. Soriney said.

Speaking during the launch of the Report, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, re-stated the relevance of Universal Healthcare as a pillar within the government’s Big Four Agenda, citing the substantial gains so far realized since the launch of the UHC pilot phase.

While applauding the gains, Dr. Mwangangi noted that this positive development has been brought about through collaborative effort of both public and private sector players in the health sector, which initiative is being championed by KAPI with the ultimate goal of ensuring a people-centered healthcare system in the country.

According to the Report: “The industry is a solution partner for countries to contribute capabilities and expertise to support governments and local stakeholders achieve shared goals.”

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board CEO, Dr. Fred Siyoi, further reiterated the need for collaboration of KAPI and other stakeholders, with the government in order to evolve an appropriate health system that will accelerate the achievement of UHC in Kenya. He registered his full support, on behalf of The Board, towards this initiative.

On his part, KAPI Chairman, Willy Soriney stated that “KAPI remains committed to working with government and other stakeholders to evolve the health systems towards an envisioned ideal as espoused in the governments’ UHC Agenda.”

The KAPI report was endorsed by industry thought leaders including Dr. Eva Mubia Njenga, Chair Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), Greg Perry, Deputy Director General IFPMA, Dr. Karim Bendhaou, Chair African Engagement Committee, Anthony Mwangi, Cluster Head Novartis East Africa, and Mr. Julius Kirima of the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade & Enterprise Development.

Concerning the Private Sector Engagement in Kenya to Support Healthcare System Strengthening, the Report states that “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a journey unique to each country’s needs and priorities, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, no single actor or sector can achieve UHC on its own. Each country must deploy necessary resources to achieve them and must prioritize which health services to cover, what beneficiary population groups to cover, how to pay for those services, and how to ensure effective and efficient delivery in consultation with stakeholders. In recognition of the need to move together towards achieving UHC, the innovative R & D based biopharmaceutical industry stands together with the global health community to support Kenya in accelerating efforts.”

KAPI Member companies showed their commitment to include the patients’ voice in their partnerships towards UHC. This is notable from the Access Programs run by Novartis on Malaria, Sickle Cell Disease, Leprosy and Chaga’s Disease, Roche on improving Breast Cancer Care in Kenya, Novo Nordisk & Roche on improving access to Diabetes Care for low-income populations, and Johnson & Johnson on the Collective Response to COVID-19 in Kenya, in order to address the challenge that has been caused by the pandemic. GSK/Johnson & Johnson/Gilead-Sciences have also come together to lead a Dreams Innovation Challenge Program that brings together thinkers both from within and without the HIV sector to implement solutions that seek to address the increasing HIV risk for girls.

“To accelerate efforts to strengthen Kenya’s healthcare system and support the government’s ambition to achieve UHC and the SDGs, we call for all actors in the health ecosystem to: Contribute to co-creating a conducive health ecosystem, improve alignment and coordination of efforts, and to Respond to local needs through tailored solutions.”