COVID fueling mental illnesses: Kenya’s health Cabinet Secretary

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The officials from Gruppo San Donato, an Italian hospital group and a pioneer in multiple research fields with Kenya's Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. /Ministry of Health-Kenya

Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is rooting for enhanced investment in regional and national healthcare systems that will enable easy and fast access to quality care at the local level.

The officials from Gruppo San Donato, an Italian hospital group and a pioneer in multiple research fields with Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. /Ministry of Health-Kenya

Speaking during the reception of Italian officials from Gruppo San Donato, the CS said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light global disparities in healthcare systems and exposed the fragility of public healthcare systems in even the most powerful of nations.

Mr. Kagwe cited mental health as having significant social and economic implications in terms of population well-being and productivity terming it a public health priority that requires key 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.

Further, he added that “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 visiting Kenya for the first time as part of a series of meetings aimed at exploring areas of collaboration with the Kenyan government.

(With input from Ministry of Health-Kenya)

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