Aga Khan In A Coalition To Address Health-Related Development Sustainable Goals

by Business Watch Team
Aga Khan

The Aga Khan University Medical College, EA has entered into a coalition with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Kenya Forum to address SDG implementation challenges influencing human health.

Through the CHOICE Project, an initiative of the Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, and the Institute for Global Health & Development at Aga Khan University, the project aims to improve the health and well-being of communities and address inequalities related to the advancement of Health and Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Kenya. The CHOICE project particularly focuses on but is not limited to SDG 3 – health and well-being, SDG 5 – gender equality, and SDG 13 – climate change. This collaboration aims to drive significant progress in addressing critical health issues, climate change, and gender inequalities in Kenya.

According to the World Health Organisation, climate change is impacting health in a myriad of ways, including by leading to death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, storms, and floods, the disruption of food systems, increases in zoonoses and food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, and mental health issues. Furthermore, climate change is undermining many of the social determinants for good health, such as livelihoods, equality, and access to health care and social support structures.

Prof Lukoye Atwoli, Dean, of Aga Khan University Medical College, East Africa, and the Principal Investigator of the project said, “Progress towards health and health-related sustainable development goals has been inconsistent. Currently, due to various crises like economic downturns, post-COVID-19 challenges, conflicts, climate change, food insecurity, and governance issues, many countries, including Kenya, are not on track to meet these goals. The CHOICE project aims to improve health and well-being and reduce inequality by implementing health-related sustainable development goals (SDGs). This will be achieved through the expertise of multisectoral Think Tanks and regional organizations focusing on cross-cutting solutions.”

The objectives of the CHOICE project are to facilitate the creation of an in-country multisectoral Think Tank towards implementing health and health-related sustainable development goals, conduct in-depth country case studies to support and advocate for local solutions that improve health, including mental health, nutrition, food systems, and gender equity.

The project also aims at creating a framework to track progress towards the health and health-related sustainable development goals with government and civil society stakeholders.

The Coalition for Sustainable Development Executive Secretary, Ms. Florence Syevuo said, “This MoU with AKU represents a significant step towards achieving our shared vision of health equity and sustainable development goals. Together, we will work to overcome the challenges that hinder progress towards the advancement of Health and Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

AKU and the Coalition for Sustainable Development will conduct in-depth country case studies, based on publicly available information and secondary data analysis. The objective will be to develop and support local cross-cutting recommendations to barriers through focused research, analysis, and advocacy towards improved health, including mental health, nutrition, and food systems, gender equality, with a specific focus on climate change and mitigation measures.

The CHOICE Project is being implemented in five countries namely, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan. In each country, the project activities are coordinated by Country Lead. In Kenya, the CHOICE Project is being coordinated by the Department of Population Health, Aga Khan University and is being led by Dr. Roselyter Riang’a, who is the country lead, Prof. Lukoye Atwoli who is the country project Principal Investigator, and Dr. Anthony Ngugi who is the CO-PI.

The Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) at Aga Khan University will act as the global coordinating hub with support from the Centre for Global Child Health (CGCH) at the Hospital for Sick Children.

Related Content: Aga Khan Employs Simulation-Based Education For A Safer Healthcare Future

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