On 27th July 2021, Kenya launched the National Strategic Plan for Prevention and Control of NCDs (2021-2026) which presents a framework to guide the implementation of NCD interventions in Kenya. The launch of this strategic plan came at a time when NCDs are on the rise accounting for over 55 percent of hospital deaths in Kenya. It is also reported (STEP survey 2015) that more than 50% of all the hospital admissions are attributable to NCDs.
The NCDs Strategic plan has gone through a number of reviews with the aim of enhancing ownership and ensuring it is a document that is representative of every stakeholder’s view. The review process provides a clear opportunity for people living with NCDs to be involved and voice their concerns. The reviews are also critical as they provide for public participation as entrenched in the Kenyan constitution.
I am glad to be part of these review processes which bring together various stakeholders including the Ministry of Heath secretariat, Patient Led Organizations, People Living with NCDs, other allied sector such as Ministry of Education, physical planning among others. The NCD Strategy provides for strong multi-sectoral linkages that will build a concerted effort towards prevention and control of NCDs in Kenya; a monitoring and evaluation framework with clear indicators that will facilitate harvesting of results; and a costed implementation plan.
During the recent review meeting that took place at Heron Portico Hotel in Nairobi on 22nd November 2021, the 5 pillars of this strategy document was reviewed, and participants provided their feedback which will help produce a formidable strategy plan. These pillars include:
- Pillar One – Sectoral and Multisectoral Coordination and Governance
- Pillar Two: Minimize Exposure to Modifiable Risk Factors
- Pillar Three: Health System Response for Management of NCDs
- Pillar Four: Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization.
- Pillar Five: Surveillance, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Research
Also dominating the recent review is the discussion around the less talked about NCDs/less common NCDs. There was a general consensus that the strategy plan expands the number of NCDs covered in the plan to provide an opportunity for people living with rare diseases to be identified and helped in managing their conditions.