Uhuru, governors to review pandemic response today

Monday, August 31st, 2020 00:00 |
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya. Photo/PD/Bernard Malonza

President Uhuru Kenyatta is this morning scheduled to chair a virtual meeting with governors and other stakeholders to discuss the country’s response to Covid-19 pandemic.

Themed “County government’s resilience in the Covid-19 Era: Reflecting on the Past and Building Sustainability for the Future,” the conference will for the first time be attended by Deputy President William Ruto who has largely been missing from all public briefings on the deadly illness.

Other speakers at the conference will be the Council of Governors chairman  Wycliffe Oparanya, Cabinet Secretaries Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and George Magoha (Education).

Others are Japan ambassador to Kenya Ryoichi Horie, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative Walid Badawi, World Health Organisation Country Director Rudi Eggers and the Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.

Lessons learnt

Magoha will give an address on Education and Covid-19: Continuity and Resumption while Police Spokesman Charles Owino is scheduled to lead a team comprising Kenya Human Rights Commission Executive Director George Kegoro in discussions on the “Place of human rights in a pandemic vis-a-vis public order.”

University of Nairobi don Omu Anzala and Kenya Medical Research Institute’s  James Kariuki are slated to talk about “Preparing for the Future: Leveraging on Science and Research in Combating Pandemics.”

Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti and Amref Health Africa Group Chief Executive Officer Githinji Gitahi will give a talk on “Cushioning County Health Systems from Shock: Redesigning Public Healthcare and Emergency Response Systems (sustainability).

Yesterday, Oparanya told the People Daily that the conference will discuss the challenges while dealing with the pandemic and lessons learnt.

“Covid-19 is a new pandemic, never witnessed before and posed several challenges that all of us need to share our experiences,” said Oparanya.

Other sources said the governors are scheduled to use the meeting to demand for more funding from the government, particularly the full disbursement of Sh 129 billion from donors towards the devolved units.

The governors are also demanding to be allowed to procure medical equipment directly from both the local and international market, without going through Kemsa that they claim lacks the capacity, ability and some required stocks.

Other issues raised by the governors include lack of transparency in the disbursement of funds for Covid-19 and the quality and costing of the equipment used in the treatment.

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