Kenya: COVID fueling mental illnesses


Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is seeking a deeply rooted investment in both regional and national healthcare systems that will facilitate and trigger fast access to quality care at the local level in the country.


Speaking during the reception of Italian officials from Gruppo San Donato, the CS said the global health pandemic has ushered in light global disparities in healthcare systems and exposed the fragility of public healthcare systems in even the most developed and powerful countries. 


According to  Mr. Kagwe, mental health as having significant social and economic implications in terms of population well-being and productivity. He highlights mental health as a public health priority that needs a crucial strategic intervention for the attainment of the country’s social, health, and economic targets.


“Mental illnesses are a significant cause of ill-health, with an estimated 25 percent of outpatient and up to 40 percent of in-patient health facility visits having diagnosable mental health conditions,” the Health Cabinet Secretary said.


Mr. Mutahi kagwe went on to say “The ravages of the pandemic have opened our eyes to the opportunities that will exist in a post-pandemic world.  I urge all stakeholders to join us in exploring ways in which we can increase our capacity for response to mental health service delivery challenges.”


The officials from Gruppo San Donato, an Italian hospital group and a pioneer in multiple research fields, are on a working visit to Kenya for the first time as part of a series of meetings aimed at exploring areas of collaboration with the country’s government.


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