Scholars Call for Investment into Health Sector to Enhance Pandemic Preparedness

The webinar participants

Scholars drawn from Kenya, Thailand and Japan have decried the absence of stability in global health care systems during and after disasters and pandemics, further calling for sectoral investments to enhance future preparedness.

In a webinar hosted by Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on Friday, September 13, 2021, the scholars from both institutions together with their counterparts from Nagoya Institute of Technology, Japan, came together to discuss; Business Continuity Management towards Public Health Care Systems during Disaster.

In her presentation titled; Impact of Covid-19 Health Care System in Kenya, Dr. Caroline Ngugi of JKUAT, said, “Kenyan polices should be centered around attaining the highest possible standard of health in a manner responsive to the needs of the population.”

Dr. Ngugi noted that Covid-19 has revealed the gaps in public health care systems of so many countries including those considered best equipped to handle infectious disease outbursts.

In efforts to keep the health sector vibrant, Dr. Ngugi noted that many businesses and industrial operations in Kenya were affected in the process of implementing mitigating strategies to manage the spread of the pandemic.

In order to avoid similar occurrences in future, Dr. Ngugi stated that Kenya should give the health sector the political priority that it so badly requires, backed up by investments, strategic thinking and planning.

Dr. Ngugi added that strategic partnerships are key to beating the pandemics, stating, “health resilience is a multi-system challenge that relies on interactions across health, social and economic systems of interconnected systems.”

Prof. Kenji Watanabe of Nagoya Institute of Technology, observed that in the event of a large scale disaster, governments often demand a response that cannot take into account economic rationality or business performance of critical infrastructures.

Prof. Kenji urged organizations to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to mitigate the severity brought about by pandemics in order to improve their operational systems.

He added that a BCP is one of the most effective programmes to use in the face of a crisis, incident and disaster, specifically for organizations to resume operations.

Other presenters were: Ms. Anne Omamo of JKUAT, Dr. Natt Leelawat and Dr. Pachanat Nunthaitaweekul   both of Chulalongkorn University.

The webinar was sponsored by AUN/SEED-Net, through Collaborative Research with External Partner.

Comments are closed.