Kenya has inked strategic deals with the Korea Trade Centre (KOTRA), the commercial section of the embassy of South Korea aimed at boosting universal health coverage with a keen focus on the biomedical sector.
Signed in a parallel session of the third edition of the Kenya International Investment Conference (KIICO 2023), which ended last week, the agreement will see the development of projects including vaccine production and storage services, adoption of a digital health platform to improve electronic community health information system and automation of port health services.
Kenya will also work with South Korea to construct a tertiary-level hospital and develop manufacturing plants at Konza Technopolis, an export promotion zone dedicated to pharmaceutical manufacturing.
In November last year, South Korea committed to supporting Kenya’s development programs by committing $1 billion to various projects.
The funds will be used for Health, Agriculture, ICT, Energy, Infrastructure, Education, affordable housing, and urban transport.
The financial aid comes at a time regional difference in the quality and distribution of care is obvious in the country, with the best facilities located in Nairobi County while the most underdeveloped facilities are in the North-Eastern Province and parts of the coastal region.
Primary care facilities in rural areas often suffer from shortages of staff, essential drugs, and basic medical equipment.
Kenya is in the process of defining a health financing strategy that will give impetus to Kenya’s journey toward universal health coverage by 2030.
The partnership between Kenya and South Korea, the government says, will go a long way in boosting the country’s healthcare sector, as local manufacturing of vaccines and pharmaceuticals will reduce costs and ensure their availability, especially in remote areas.