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Access Accelerated Stakeholder Collaboration in Kenya: Day 1 in Review

The first day of the Access Accelerated hosted event, “Building Solutions to Patient Challenges in Non-Communicable Diseases” in Nairobi, Kenya featured rich and thoughtful discussion and debate. The event built upon and extended the conversation on non-communicable diseases (NCD) solutions started earlier this week with a Ministry of Health and World Bank Group-hosted event in Naivasha, Kenya. In Naivasha, key stakeholders from government, civil society and the private sector, including participation from Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Health Sicily Kariuki, met to reinvigorate action on NCDs.

The event started with a sobering fact on the scale of the NCDs challenge when Dr. Joseph Kibachio, the Head of the Division of NCDs in the Kenya Ministry of Health, opened his presentation noting that 30 to 40 percent of the people who died last night in Kenya died from the consequences of an NCD. Over 90 percent of Kenyans have one of the risk factors for NCDs.

Access Accelerated member companies and partners exhibited their access programs.
In presentations and comments throughout the day, several patients, including Reuben Magoko Carlo, the National Chairperson of the Kenya Defeat Diabetes Association, shared their stories of delayed diagnosis, poor quality treatment, stigma and the financial challenges of managing chronic diseases. The focus on treating the person, not the disease, was reinforced and celebrated. One participant said, “My disease does not define me, my strength does.”

Throughout the day and discussion on community engagement and supply chains, conversation focused on the specific NCD prevention, treatment and care challenges in Kenya as well as practical and sustainable solutions. NCD Alliance Kenya Chairperson Dr. Eva Njenga summarized the spirit of the day by noting, “Sometimes we have to look at NCD challenges as opportunities.”

Access Accelerated member companies and partners exhibited their access programs.

Key highlights from the day included:
  • Empowering people living with NCDs was a consistent theme with discussion centering on how people should and could be better engaged as advocates, activists and peer educators to support each other and better shape policy at the county and national level.
  • The challenges of managing Kenya’s devolved health system where budgets and policies are managed across 47 counties. While bringing budgets closer to the people has advantages, it also creates fragmentation and complexity while diffusing accountability.
  • The role the private sector can play in bringing innovation to treatment and care, efficiency and scale in production across the supply chain and partnering with people living with NCDs, while championing local ownership and building health care capacity for long-term sustainability.

Access Accelerated also provided a communications skill building session for NCD Alliance members, helping them to better tell their story in order to build awareness of NCDs, engage policymakers and other stakeholders, and advance positive policies.

During the day, partners NCD Alliance and World Heart Federation held concurrent workshops. Access Accelerated is supporting the World Heart Federation’s national advocacy initiatives around cardiovascular disease by raising awareness of key barriers to care and working with stakeholders to scale access to treatment.

Moderator Shiulie Ghosh talks with Dr. Joseph Kibachio, the Head of the Division of NCDs in the Kenya Ministry of Health, during a panel (left) and NCD Alliance Kenya Chairperson Dr. Eva Njenga speaks on a panel about supply chain strengthening (right).

Tomorrow, PATH will hold a workshop. Access Accelerated is working with PATH to strengthen existing systems and integrating efforts in Kenya to address NCDs. The learnings will be incorporated into their global framework to address barriers to treatment and care around the world.

We look forward to another day of discussion and advancing practical and sustainable solutions and strategies. We will share another brief recap tomorrow and a more technical outcomes document will follow soon.

For questions, please email info@accessaccelerated.org.

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