Makueni County Welcomes Afya Dumu to Combat Noncommunicable Diseases

Front row (left to right): Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Chemuttaai Langat (Medtronic), Ndinda Kusu (MSH), and Nathan Mulure (Novartis) with attendees at the signing ceremony.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have been on the rise in Kenya over the past decade. More than half of inpatient admissions and over 55% of hospital deaths are due to NCDs, severely compromising health care budgets.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) of Kenya is focused on accelerating progress to prevent and control NCDs and is continuously exploring strategies for mainstreaming the NCD agenda into Kenya’s broader plans toward universal health coverage (UHC). To this end, the Afya Dumu team met on July 26 with the Governor and local government of Makueni County to sign a two-year formal partnership agreement to support Makueni’s NCD agenda.

Afya Dumu is an agreement among Novartis Social Business, Medtronic Labs, and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) with the goal to provide an integrated, technology-enabled, end-to-end solution and enhance capacity for NCD management in Makueni, Kakamega, and Nyeri counties in Kenya. This agreement will enhance service delivery and help combat challenges in the fight against NCDs in Kenya while reducing the chronic disease burden experienced by patients, providers, and the health care system.

[Ndinda Kusu and Chemuttaai Langat with Governor Kivutha Kibwana after the signing ceremony]Ndinda Kusu and Chemuttaai Langat with Governor Kivutha Kibwana after the signing ceremony

The Afya Dumu team at the signing ceremony included the cluster head of Novartis Social Business, Dr. Nathan Mulure; Medtronic Labs Regional health head Africa, Ms. Chemuttaai Langat; and MSH Kenya country project director, Dr. Ndinda Kusu. Makueni County Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana acknowledged the partnership, indicating that it would contribute to the community health strategy and revolutionize Makueni’s UHC Program. The County Executive Committee member in charge of health, Dr. Mulwa, welcomed the Afya Dumu program to support Makueni’s NCD agenda, while the County Chief Officer for health, Dr. Musyoki, highlighted that the partnership was timely and would help save lives. 

Afya Dumu, in collaboration with the MOH’s NCD unit and the governments of the three counties, intends to enroll and manage more than 30,000 hypertension and diabetes patients. Prof. Kibwana advised that Afya Dumu’s implementation should focus on building capacity at the county level to sustain gains made during implementation.