President Uhuru Kenyatta early Wednesday morning travelled to Cuba for a three day State visit aimed at strengthening collaboration and cooperation in health, sports, the blue economy and trade.
State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said President Kenyatta’s visit will also seek to explore and expand further areas of cooperation for mutual benefit.
During the visit, Kenya hopes to learn vital lessons behind Cuba’s success in its well-developed preventive health care system including the discovery of vaccines against lung cancer, the eradication of Malaria and a thriving pharmaceutical industry.
As a result of these milestones in health, the World Health Organization has declared Cuba as a nation with a Model Health Care, a status that Kenya hopes to learn from and achieve under President Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda.
The Big four agenda, which is aimed at boosting Kenya’s Development focuses on four deliverables that include accessible universal health care alongside manufacturing, affordable housing and food security.
Mr Manoah said Cuba is also keen in registering and selling its pharmaceutical products in the Kenyan market and President Kenyatta will encourage the Caribbean Nation to set up a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Kenya to serve the larger East and Central Africa regional markets.
Other areas of engagement that the President will explore with his Cuban hosts, said Manoah, include building the Kenyan capacity and increasing the number of specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management.
Kenya is also interested to collaborate with Cuba in research on cancer, drugs for diabetes and eradication of Malaria.
The President will seek Cuba’s support in several areas of sports development including capacity building and training in boxing, volleyball and track events while the latter nation will seek cooperation and support for its athletes and coaches to train in Kenya’s renown High-Altitude facilities.
The Republic of Cuba is the largest and most populous Caribbean Island Nation whose neighbours include Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Haiti. Its population stands at over 11 million people.
Cuba boasts the second highest literacy rate in the world standing at 99.8 per cent. The Island nation is home to some 47 universities and 23 medical institutions.
Havana, the largest metropolis, serves as the capital city, leading commercial centre and also constitutes one of Cuba’s 15 provinces.
The plane carrying the Head of State and his entourage taxied off at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) shortly after12.00 am
Deputy President William Ruto, the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka led a host of Members of parliament and senior government officials in seeing off the President.