London — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday night said the prevention of common diseases including malaria is at the top of Kenya's goal to achieve universal healthcare.
Universal healthcare is part of the big four pillar agenda to deliver better lives for Kenyans, which the Jubilee Government has committed to.
The Big Four Pillars at the core of President Kenyatta's agenda during his second term are food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.
Speaking at a Global Malaria Summit in London, the President noted that malaria prevalence rate in Kenya has been reduced from 11 per cent to eight per cent thanks to continued targeted malaria interventions.
"I am committed to beating malaria in Kenya, the Commonwealth and beyond, and look forward to working with you all to deliver this shared goal," said the President.
President Kenyatta said that Kenya is stepping efforts to reduce malaria prevalence to lower levels through the introduction of additional tools to boost the fight against the disease.
He said reducing malaria will improve the management of primary healthcare and enable Kenya to make significant strides in delivering Universal Healthcare.
The President said the Government will, in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, commence the introduction of the lifesaving Malaria Vaccine towards the end of this year.
"This vaccine, targeting young children will be deployed in a pilot implementation project in the malaria endemic areas of our country," said the President.
He said the Government is determined to lower the prevalence, morbidity and mortality caused by malaria by two thirds in the shorter term and endeavour to eliminate it by 2030.
The President noted that the Government is on track to providing 80 percent of people living in malaria risk areas with appropriate malaria preventive interventions and treating 100 percent of all malaria cases in accordance to the National Malaria Treatment Guidelines.
"We have just concluded one round of mass Net Campaign where we distributed 15 million long-lasting insecticidal nets in 23 counties that lie in malaria risk zones," said the President.
He further added that the Government continues providing pregnant women and children under one year with nets in order to reduce their vulnerability to malaria infection.
"Further, together with our partners we have managed to avail malaria diagnostic and treatment services in all our public facilities free of charge," said the President.
He said the innovative co-pay mechanism for antimalarial medicines in the private sector facilities has remarkably improved access to a major percentage of Kenyans who seek health care outside public facilities.
President Kenyatta added that the Government has also reintroduced indoor residual spraying in partnership with the US Government and is currently spraying in two counties (Migori and Homabay) with a plan to extend to a third one (Kisumu) by next year.
He thanked the Global Fund, the US Government through the President's Malaria Initiative and the UK Government through the DFID, for the support they have provided in the fight to eradicate malaria.
The summit on eradicating malaria, attended by 15 Heads of State and Government, resolved to re-commit to accelerating actions to achieve a malaria-free world by putting necessary financing and policy mechanisms in place.
The President was accompanied by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma.
The President is in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, held biennially, which he is using to market Kenya as a preferred investment destination.
In the morning, the President attended an Africa Leaders Roundtable business forum where he spoke on the benefits of intra-Africa trade and how it can be used as a tool to create prosperity in the continent.
On Tuesday, the President rang in business at the London Stock Exchange before addressing investors on the opportunities existing in Kenya.
The President later addressed a business forum bringing together UK investors, Kenya companies and government officials.