Background: Africa has made significant strides in certain areas of social and economic development but has the potential to achieve even more if it can overcome the large burden of disease which continues to be a barrier to faster development. In addition to putting in place structures for the realisation of the millennium development goals by the set deadline of 2015, the Vision 2030 development blueprint envisages Kenya transformed into a newly industrialised middle income country by 2030 through Science, technology and innovation amongst six foundations recognised as key drivers in achieving the anticipated three pillars of economic, social and political developments in the set timeframe.
Justification: Gaps in scientific evidence to inform the occasional paradigm shift in running of health programs have been noted as challenges in health care delivery. This health science conference was therefore organised to bring together seasoned and upcoming scientists and diverse health care practitioners from both public and private sectors to share knowledge and experiences that influence and shape service delivery to achieve optimum health care outcomes.
Conference theme: The theme of the Conference was “Towards Optimum Health Care” with several sub – themes.
Objectives: The purpose of the conference was to provide an interactive forum for the participants to share experiences with the quest for strengthening health systems in healthcare delivery and accelerating the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Kenya’s Vision 2030 and observance of the attendant constitutional provisions.
Pre-conference activities: To facilitate the efficient hosting of the conference a steering committee was inaugurated with membership from schools in the CHS and sub- committees established. A working plan, projected budget, resource mobilisation strategy and logistic arrangements were made. The scientific sub-committee solicited, received and vetted abstracts for presentations.
Conference activities: Through set sub -committees and with support from a strong protocol team deployed in key areas of receiving and documenting conference proceedings, participant registration, ushering, upgrading and maintenance of conference utilities the conference was successfully hosted. The conference was officially opened by the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation, Hon. Beth W. Mugo. M.P., E.G.H.
The conference attracted 258 participants from Kenya and beyond. Over 132 oral and poster presentations of original research work were presented in form of plenary sessions and symposia. Also presented was a key note address by the CEO, National Council for Science and technology - Prof. Shaukat A. Abdulrazak, PhD, FSB, FASI, MBS. in addition to three plenary sessions graced by guest lecturers in the 3 conference thematic areas of Health as a human right issue; Role of education in Healthcare provision and Healthcare financing.
Outputs: The Conference proceedings will be compiled and widely disseminated as well as the record of the key note addresses, conference resolutions, action plans and recommendations.
Recommendations: One key recommendation was that the conference should become a regular event and its findings and deliberations should make an impact on health policy in the country.