NAIROBI, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday urged Kenya to partner with the private sector to combat non-communicable diseases.
Siddharth Chatterjee, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kenya, told a health forum in Nairobi that public-private partnerships are critical because conditions such as hypertension cardio-vascular diseases and diabetes are now a major threat to public health.
"Kenya should partner with the private sector who have the crucial technology, innovation and finance to help the country combat the non-communicable diseases (NCDs)," Chatterjee said during the Healthy Heart Africa Program's four year anniversary and high level panel session on leveraging public-private partnerships to integrate NCDs prevention and control in primary health care.
Chatterjee said that the cost of treating NCDs in Kenya could bankrupt the state-owned National Hospital Insurance Fund, if the country does not prioritize preventive steps to fight the NCDs.
He said that the private sector should be incentivized to inject financial technology and innovation to complement government efforts to promote a healthy nation.
Chatterjee observed that public finance is not sufficient to prevent and treat the entire population, adding that the best outcome in the health sector is achieved through a blended finance mechanism.
He observed that the UN is currently building capacity at the county level to co-create with other stakeholders high-impact and best value-for-money health programs.
"But ultimately health must be owned by government and must have a return on investment so that it is sustainable," Chatterjee said.
He noted that Kenya is likely to achieve universal health care in the next four years because it has so far demonstrated political will to achieve the objective.
Rashid Abdi Aman, the chief administrative secretary in the ministry of health, said that public-private partnerships will accelerate the country's goal to reduce risks associated with NCDs and promote interventions to prevent and control them.
Aman noted that government's vision seeks to use inclusive and collective multi-sectoral interventions to attain a 25 percent reduction in premature deaths from NCDs by 2020.
He noted that NCDs have now emerged as the second biggest killers in Kenya after HIV/AIDS, with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes cases rising rapidly.