Kenya and other African countries should adopt cultural approaches to combating diseases, health experts have said.
Speaking at the Fifth Africa Governance, Leadership and Management Convention in Kwale County, the experts called for the translation of medical prescription and medicine dosage to native language to allow rural residents to understand them.
‘For community-based health systems to be a success, the private sector and government should come together and translate medical information so that even the prescription is written in native languages,’ said Dr. Nicholas Letting, the Vice Chancellor of Management University of Africa.
Martine Kappel, the founder of True North Leadership, a governance consultancy, said the government should facilitate traditional medication. ‘Not all African tradition healers are bad. There are African medicines that assist in the fight against some diseases that should be encouraged,’ said Kappel.
The experts said Kenya and most other African countries have not adopted a community-based health services approach to combat outbreaks of infectious diseases and other epidemics like cholera and Ebola.
For Africa to succeed in the fight against common diseases, the Chancellor of Moi University, Prof Mariam Were said, it should roll-out community-based health approach.
‘Kenya is still at a very high-risk if an infectious disease breaks out. The government started to implement the community-based health approach in 2008, but it did that to only those areas that had cholera outbreak,’ she said.
Ethiopia and Ghana were cited as the countries that have successfully implemented community health approach. ‘Ghana successfully dealt with the Ebola threat because its health system is perfect. It was able to deal with it because of the vibrant community-based health system,’ said Were.