Emergency Care Symposium 2022 (#ECSKenya2022)

Emergency medical care is still in its infancy in Kenya. The Kenya Emergency Medical Care Policy 2020-2030, launched last year by the Ministry of Health, seeks to establish a working Emergency Medical Care (EMC) System in the country as a key component of the healthcare system. 

With this in mind, the Emergency Care Symposium 2022 (#ECSKenya2022) held at the Kenya School of Government from the 3rd – 4th November 2022 brought together such a fantastic group of healthcare providers and policymakers from over 20 Counties to showcase emergency medical care development in their counties and share ideas that will further guide and inform the development of universal emergency medical care across Kenya.


The Director of Public Health and Chair of the National Emergency Medical Care Steering Committee of the Ministry of Health, Brig.(Dr) Francis Kuria opened the symposium. He highlighted that beyond the policies, systems, and standards being developed by the Ministry of Health, there is a need for a paradigm shift in how we think about emergency medical care in Kenya. We need to think of low-cost interventions in emergency medical care services that can change what we do and how we do it as a County and as a country. He mentioned that the Ministry of Health was committed to implementing the Kenya Emergency Medical Care Policy 2020-2030 launched last year through the National Emergency Medical Care Steering Committee at the Ministry of Health. 

The priority areas for the committee are;

  1. Establish prehospital and emergency department standards 
  2. Develop an appropriate framework for the establishment of the Emergency Medical Care Treatment Fund
  3. Amend the Health Act to include the ‘Emergency Medical Care Bill’, which will develop the Emergency Medical Care Authority

He also mentioned that the committee solicits and is open to receiving and considering the views of members of the public and any interested groups and promotes consultative stakeholder involvement.



Representing the Council of Governors, Dr Emmanuel Wamalwa read a speech by the Chair of the Council of Governors, H.E. Anne Waiguru. In her speech, she emphasised that the Council of Governors were committed to driving good healthcare in the country. “There is a need for an emergency healthcare system to deal with communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, accidents and injuries from roads or occupational related emergencies. The Council of Governors is also prioritising working with County Governments to ensure emergency medical care systems ranging from prehospital settings through to tertiary care receiving centres are integrated.” 



The Team

Kenya Emergency Medical Care Policy 2020-2030

The Ministry of Health, today, launched the Kenya Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2020-2030 and the Kenya Emergency Medical Care Strategy 2020-2025, to promote healthcare among citizens in need of emergency treatment. The Kenya Emergency Medical Care (EMC) Policy 2020-2030 is the first-ever policy in Kenya that seeks to establish a working Emergency Medical Care (EMC) System as a key component of the healthcare system in the country. The policy also speaks to the World Health Assembly resolution WHA 72.16 of 21 May 2019 which urged member states to create policies for sustainable funding, effective governance and universal access to safe, high-quality, needs-based emergency care for all as part of universal health coverage. In developing this policy, the Ministry of Health (MOH) aims to ensure access to the highest standards of emergency medical care in Kenya as envisioned in The Constitution of Kenya (2010) and the Health Act (2017) which guarantees every Kenyan the right to emergency medical treatment.

Community Health Workers in Emergency Care

CHWs have shown great efficacy in reducing mortality and morbidity associated with multiple disease categories and help to fill healthcare worker shortages worldwide. Utilising CHWs to provide emergency care in the community requires a focus on their formal training and can strengthen the emergency care system overall.

Emergency Hotlines

Emergency Hotlines establish a reliable fixed-line system that is able to improve emergency care and reduce mortality and morbidity through improved communication and collaboration with emergency care centres.

Effective Positioning of Emergency Care Centres in Kenya

In order to provide quality emergency care, emergency care centres need to be developed with an understanding of current geographical disparities and careful planning to create a network of emergency care centres that is sufficient to meet the needs of the population. This is key to ensure country-wide access to emergency care within the “golden hour” window.