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KCIC, AMREF partner to address impact of climate change on health

  • By Solomon Irungu N
  • August 19, 2021
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  • 256 Views

The Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Amref Health Africa in Kenya (Amref) aimed at promoting health resilience due to the potential negative effects of climate change on the health of our communities. Speaking during the signing ceremony, KCIC Group Corporate Services Director Ruth Ndegwa who represented the CEO has said that organisation will not only create project plans and roadmaps around the health nexus, but will also share documentation on the KCIC model on mitigating climate change within the health sector.

“We are sharing detailed approaches to deploying the KCIC model to support the identification and implementation of projects with climate change and health nexus,” she said. “As an organisation we will participate in the development of projects and will support MSMEs that have ideas that will address the impact of climate change on people’s healths.”

KCIC will spearhead innovation, knowledge development (research, adoption, review, documentation and dissemination) and learning and will also support developing strategic partnerships to further facilitate the realization of the objectives of the MoU. It will also participate in the joint conceptualization and development of projects and programs to improve the lives of SMEs.

On his part, Amref Country Director Dr Meshack Ndirangu noted that there is need to actively engage communities to strengthen preparedness and overall resilience against the negative effects of climate change. Amref plans to continue providing technical expertise in health systems strengthening in the design and implementation of climate adaptation and resilience health programmes to help communities prepare and respond.

“Most countries in Africa, while bearing the brunt of climate change, are unfortunately least able to prepare and cope. This, coupled with weak health infrastructure will exacerbate the impact of climate change on health if the different stakeholders do not act fast enough. Amref has for a long time focused on strengthening community health systems to promote health and resilience in dealing with health threats to our communities. We will leverage our existing relationships with the Ministry of Health, national and county leadership and communities to address the impact of climate change on health. We are excited about this partnership with KCIC who bring in immense experience in climate change which will enable synergies in addressing this nexus,” he said.

A recent report by Amref reported that the impact of climate change has exposed a number of families to desperate situations, with some being forced carry out Female Genital Mutilation on girls as young as 13 to prepare them for early marriages in exchange for cattle. To catalyse the efforts, the two organisations will also pursue strategic partnerships with donors, non- and for-profits, academia, and media which will accelerate realization of the objectives of the MoU.

The MoU that came into effect today will see the two organisations offer technical and management cooperation in the design and implementation of various climate change and public health interventions. It aims to build the capacity of various stakeholders and especially communities to effectively address climate change and public health.

From the MoU, the two organisations will jointly roll out communication on climate change and public health issues and create advocacy with climate and health policymakers, practitioners, civil society and the broader public on communicating and preventing climate risks. Through the collaboration, KCIC and Amref will also spearhead collaborative research and targeted trials that will showcase innovations in addressing climate change and public health.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Deputy Director for Public Health in Kenya Dr. Anthony Wainana who applauded the two organisations for identifying a need in the health sector and addressing it.

“As a government we have prioritised mainstreaming climate change adaptation into the health sector; increasing the resilience of human settlements, including improved solid waste management in urban areas. It is anticipated these efforts will reduce the incidence of malaria and other vector-borne disease, promote recycling to divert collected waste away from disposal sites, climate proof landfill sites, control flooding in human settlements and promote green buildings. We welcome this and shall support this and other partnerships to address this very profound need in the country, to mitigate the impacts of climate change on people’s health.”

A cretd version of this article was first published on KBC Channel 1