The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK) in partnership with Kenya-UK Healthcare Alliance (KUKHA), Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have today launched the first Annual Kenya Healthcare Innovation Challenge Awards.
The challenge awards aim at accelerating the implementation of healthcare innovations in Kenya towards the attainment of Universal Health Care (UHC) and fostering a high standard of control over quality and distribution of medicines and other pharmaceutical products.
Deputy President, Rigathi Gachagua, said the innovation awards is a critical step towards pragmatic approaches to finding solutions to healthcare systems in Kenya.
“Research and innovation in healthcare is paramount to improving healthcare in our society for it provides a platform for potential strategic collaborations that support the sector in delivering quality, affordable and accessible healthcare,” he said.
He noted that major interventions and reforms on healthcare had to be made in reorganizing the health sector so as to improve the delivery of quality services, innovate in resource mobilization for effective healthcare financing and placing clients at the centre of decision-making to better respond to their needs.
At the same time, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache noted that the Government is committed to improving the access to quality, affordable and effective healthcare for the entire population and through the innovations, the common “Wananchi” will get access to safe, acceptable, efficient and sustainable healthcare.
“Our universities are known for keeping a strong tradition of innovation fuelled by research and development and because of this, the Ministry of Health is collaborating with Academic and Research Institutions particularly in the implementation of Universal Health Coverage,” said Mochache.
She innovation in health service delivery can make a difference, especially in resource-constrained settings.
She stated that access to essential medicines is a critical pillar and avenue for any country towards the realization of UHC which targets to reduce child mortality rate, combat HIV, Malaria and other diseases and ensure economic development as visualized in Vision 2030.
“A healthy nation is integral to the security of a nation and with respect to the devolution of healthcare that aims to bringing services closer to the ‘mwananchi’, coordination and collaborations must innovatively drive the decision- making process and leaders must move away from the traditional way of managing a centralized government,” said Mochache.
PSK President, Dr. Louis Machogu, said that the demand for health services outstrips the supply of health services and to bridge this gap, innovations are vital in order to provide solutions to great healthcare problems.
“Healthcare challenges, unmet healthcare needs and advances in healthcare creates a need to innovate as part of solution-finding and the innovations are vehicles that facilitates disruption through which new avenues and solutions to existing challenges are created and also opens up new ways and opportunities for collaborations,” said Machogu.
He added that Kenya Healthcare Innovation Challenge Annual Awards (KHICA) together with partners will educate the investors on business, legal, marketing, accounting, pitching among others in order to tool the applicants for entrepreneurial success.
“PSK with its partners will provide a home and an enhancing environment to recognize healthcare innovations and investors and the KHICA will on an annual basis acknowledge, promote, support and encourage innovations in healthcare,” stated Machogu.