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Kenya: Govt to provide health services to migrants 0

NAIROBI – The consultation will be the first of the many steps ahead and will provide a roadmap to ensure tangible actions take towards addressing issues of health of immigrants in Kenya.

Faced with health challenges that arise out of high levels of internal and international migration and population mobility, Kenya’s Ministry of Health plans to hold a national consultation on migration health.

Beth Mugo, Minister for Public Health and Sanitation said the consultation will be the first of the many steps ahead and will provide a roadmap to ensure tangible actions take towards addressing issues of health of immigrants in Kenya.

Kenya has for several years been a home of choice for troubled neighbours from the greater east, central and horn of Africa driven by civil unrest and better livelihood opportunities.

But health experts say migrants who come to Kenya are often faced with inequities in accessing health services due to marginalization, powerlessness, lack of specific policies or shortcomings in implementing them.

Often, migrants and mobile populations are deterred from accessing essential health care services due to such factors as irregular immigration status, language barriers and limited access to services at a certain day.

During the last decade, the health of migrants has gained increasing attention and momentum at the global level. In 2008, the World Health Assembly adopted Resolution WHA 61.17 on the health of migrants that provides an important policy framework for action by member countries.

Ashraf El Nour, Regional Representatives for International Organisation of Migration hoped that the planned conference will lead to concrete stepping stone for ensuring that real impact on securing quality health care for all those who reside within Kenya, their origin notwithstanding.

By Henry Neondo News From Africa

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