Director-General's Office

Visit of H.E. President Kenyatta to the WHO Global Management Meeting

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Nairobi, Kenya
10 December 2018

Your excellency President Kenyatta,

Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to say I am glad to be home, and Jambo Habari yako.

It’s such a great honour for me and the WHO family to welcome you here to this important event, our Global Management Meeting.

As my sister Tshidi said, this is the first time WHO’s entire top leadership has gathered in one place.

We are incredibly grateful to the Government of Kenya and, especially to yourself, Your Excellency, for welcoming us to your beautiful country and for hosting this historic meeting.

And there are many historic events this year.

It’s our 70th anniversary, WHO’s 70th anniversary.

It’s also the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And December 12, as you know, many of you here, is Jamhuri Day and also December 12 is Universal Health Coverage Day.

So this is actually the best place to have our meeting.

And not only that, this week we are discussing how we must change to become an organization that is capable of delivering universal health coverage and the GPW, because UHC is central to GPW.

So, it is only fitting that we should, as WHO’s leadership, begin the journey of transformation at our destination, in a country that is determined to drive change.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

As you know, with WHO’s support Kenya is embarking on its journey towards universal health coverage, which we will be celebrating this week.

In your inaugural speech, Your Excellency, a year ago you laid out your vision for 100% universal health coverage for every family in Kenya by 2022, among the other commitments you have made – jobs, housing and food security – which also help universal health coverage as determinants.

You committed to a complete reconfiguration of the National Hospital Insurance Fund, and to reforming laws governing private insurance companies.

When I visited Kenya in January this year I expressed WHO’s strong support for this ambitious journey.

We are here to support you every step of the way, together with partners like the World Bank and the Japanese Government.

Together, we are harmonizing fragmented approaches and diverse donor-driven priorities.

The changes you are undertaking have the power not just to change the lives of millions of Kenyans, but to change the lives of millions more in the region.

Kenya is blazing a trail as a regional leader. Success here could have a ripple effect throughout the region.

Your Excellency,

Your dream for Kenya is our dream for Kenya.

As Kenya progresses on this journey, WHO will remain committed to supporting you in any way possible.

WHO is fully committed to supporting you on your journey towards universal health coverage, at all 3 levels of the Organization.

Thank you, Mr President, for your commitment to universal health coverage. Thank you, Your Excellency, for your leadership.

Asanteni. Thank you.