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Kenya closer to finalising deal on prevention of biological attacks

By Jeckonia Otieno | September 14th 2016
By Jeckonia Otieno | September 14th 2016

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya is inching closer to signing a deal with the United States on biological threats three years after initiation of talks.
These threats include use of biological toxins in terror activities; in what is usually referred as biological warfare which is not only a public health issue but also a security issue.

At times terrorists use biological warfare to target their victims and this is a cause of concern for Kenyans bearing in mind the attacks that have been witnessed in Kenya.
In meeting between government representatives drawn from the National Assembly, Office of the Attorney General, ministries of Health, Interior and Defence, and the US government officials, health Cabinet Secretary Dr Cleopa Mailu reiterated the importance of a unified approach in mitigating the threat of infectious diseases whether naturally occurring or deliberately propagated.
"From experience we have learnt that a health epidemic can kill thousands and lead to panic riots, broken down health systems and collapse of economies, all of which can destabilise governments and cause security risk," said Mailu.
Mailu reiterated the link between health and bio-security in ensuring national stability. This comes against a backdrop of revelations that laboratories in Kenya are not properly equipped to ensure safe keeping of pathogens.

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