King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Leading Health Sector Transformation in Saudi Arabia

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre Leading Health Sector Transformation in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Harvard University — Eight years into Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia has made significant strides with digital innovations and enhanced access to quality care. Strategic investments in infrastructure, technology, and talent, have led to advancements revolutionizing patient care delivery and elevating the standards of healthcare locally. These efforts have notably raised the average life expectancy, reduced mortality rates, and enhanced overall well-being across the Kingdom.

Central to these achievements, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC), renowned for its specialized care and treatments across critical fields such as oncology, cardiology, organ transplantation, and genetics has positioned itself as a leader in specialized patient care, taking the charge towards a brighter, healthier future for the Kingdom. Through its commitment to pioneering digital health initiatives, comprehensive educational programs, and novel research endeavors, it is reshaping the local landscape, and setting new standards of efficiency and accessibility.

In an era defined by technological advancements, and with the Kingdom’s push towards digitalization, KFSH&RC stands at the forefront of digital health integration among its local peers, leveraging cutting-edge telemedicine services, virtual consultations, and AI-driven tools such as the ANFAL AI System that transforms patient outcomes through predictive insights and personalized care, ensuring the best outcomes for patient satisfaction.

KFSH&RC’s digital health initiatives extend to addressing broader health threats through technologies such as Whole Genomic Sequencing (WGS) and Advanced Radiation Therapy. The hospital has also pioneered organ transplantation by performing the world’s first fully robotic liver transplant and introduced to the region innovations like the Harmony Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve (TPV), enhancing patient recovery and experience. These technologies facilitate personalized treatment plans and improve the accuracy and speed of medical diagnostics, contributing significantly to the elevation of patient care standards and a sustainable, resilient healthcare infrastructure in line with the objectives of the Health Sector Transformation Program.

KFSH&RC continues to push the boundaries of medical research addressing pressing health challenges and contributing to Saudi Arabia’s public health landscape, with discoveries like the PfAP2-MRP gene crucial for malaria treatment and the identification of the new Riyadhensis bacteria strain. These discoveries have not only improved diagnostic accuracy but also facilitated early interventions, ensuring timely and effective patient support, in line with the national objectives to reduce chronic disease prevalence.

These comprehensive efforts are supported by KFSH&RC’s robust educational initiatives, which prepare the next generation of medical professionals through training programs and international collaborations.

Recognized by ‘Brand Finance’ in 2024 as the most valuable healthcare brand in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for the second consecutive year, placing 9th in Saudi Arabia and 28th in the Middle East. Additionally, KFSH&RC stands out as the only hospital worldwide to be ranked among its country’s top ten most valuable brands.

About King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC):

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) stands as a leading healthcare institution in the Middle East, envisioned to be the optimal choice for every patient seeking specialized healthcare. The hospital boasts a rich history in the treatment of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, organ transplantation, neurosciences, and genetics.

In 2024, “Brand Finance” ranked King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre as the top academic medical centre in the Middle East and Africa, and among the top 20 globally for the second consecutive year. Additionally, in 2024, it was recognized as one of the leading global healthcare providers by Newsweek magazine.

As part of Saudi Vision 2030, a royal decree was issued on December 21, 2021, to transform the hospital into an independent, non-profit, government-owned entity, paving the way for a comprehensive transformation program aimed at achieving global leadership in healthcare through excellence and innovation.


For more information, please contact:

Mr. Essam Al-Zahrani, Media Affairs Head, 0555254429

Mr. Abdullah Al-Aown, Media Coordination Officer, 0556294232

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Curia and Carterra Partner on Biologics Symposium to Further Biotechnology Research in the Pacific Northwest

Curia & Carterra Biologics Symposium

Biologics symposium slated for May 31 in Seattle, WA

ALBANY, N.Y. and SALT LAKE CITY, May 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Curia, a leading contract research, development and manufacturing organization and Carterra Inc., the world leader in label-free high throughput antibody and small molecule drug discovery, today announced their partnership in hosting a high-throughput biologics symposium slated for May 31 at the Residence Inn at Marriott in Seattle, Washington.

The purpose of the collaboration is to promote the rising biotech focus within the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S and Canada. The symposium will bring together all levels of scientific leadership from the biotech and pharma communities.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Carterra to organize this antibody discovery symposium, bringing the Pacific Northwest biotech community together and sharing the latest advances in antibody discovery,” said Steve Lavezoli, Vice President of Biologics at Curia. “We are also looking forward to sharing our optimal, high-quality and accelerated antibody discovery workflows to first-to-human antibody discovery, development and clinical manufacturing. Antibodies discovered and/or engineered with Curia’s platform technology are in the clinic and we have over 230 successful antibody discovery campaigns performed for the biotech community.”

Speed, scientific expertise and efficiency can surmount the high attrition rates of early antibody discovery and achieve first-to-market delivery of new therapeutics. The symposium will highlight Curia’s technology platform and integrated services with a focus on the development of enhanced mouse systems for antibody generation and high-throughput single B cell screening. The combination of next generation sequencing (NGS) and rapid recombinant production of milligram to gram quantities of purified monoclonal antibody (mAb) significantly accelerates identification of development candidate leads.

Since 2017, Carterra has been selling its powerful LSA® high-throughput biosensor to analyze and characterize antibodies using Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). With the launch of its LSAXT platform last year, Carterra now offers products that can perform small molecule analysis as well as antibody discovery. The LSA platform has been profiled in several peer-reviewed papers in Science, Nature and Cell, detailing the path of multiple therapeutics entering clinical trials. At the symposium, several leading scientists in biopharma will be sharing their insights into their specific areas of drug discovery and will highlight the transformative impact of integrating HT-SPR technology, AI/ML and other new technologies.

“We are excited to be partnering with Curia on our symposium. Carterra symposia are scientific events that we host each year throughout the U.S. and Europe,” stated Chris M. Silva, Vice President of Marketing and Product at Carterra. “These symposia help us to share the latest technology advancements and important data generated from the workflows of scientists using Carterra’s label-free platforms. Coming to the Pacific Northwest is an opportunity to create a deeper understanding of the technology in pharma and biotechs in this region.”

Click here to RSVP for the event. Registration is required as seating is limited.

About Curia:
Curia is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with over 30 years of experience, an integrated network of 27 global sites and over 3,500 employees partnering with Biopharmaceutical customers to bring life-changing therapies to market. Our biologics and small molecules offerings span discovery through commercialization, with integrated regulatory and analytical capabilities. Our scientific and process experts and state-of-the-art facilities deliver best-in-class experience across drug substance and drug product manufacturing. From curiosity to cure, we deliver every step to improve patients’ lives. Visit us at

About Carterra, Inc.:
Carterra, Inc. is a privately held company. Its HT-SPR technology provides large-molecule and small-molecule drug discovery customers with screening and characterization throughput and functionality that scales with omics-level applications, condensing months of work down to days. Our solutions have enabled multiple therapeutics and breakthrough research and helped academic and translational researchers and biopharmaceutical companies in oncology, immunology, neuroscience, and more.  Carterra is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has Customer Experience Centers in San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Boston, Manchester, England, and Munich, Germany. Carterra products are available in Asia-Pacific and Oceania through our exclusive distributor, Revvity. To learn more, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn or X (Twitter).

Curia Contact Information:
Viana Bhagan
+1 518 512 2111

Carterra Media Contact:
Cheri Salazar
(408) 594-9400

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State Distributes Over 1.2 Million Kilograms Of Food To Flood Affected Families

The government has distributed a total of 1,226,400 kilograms of essential food supplies consisting of rice and beans to families affected by the ongoing floods across the country.

Government Spokesperson Dr. Isaac Mwaura said that the food has been distributed to support the affected communities in Busia, Homabay, Kisumu, Machakos, Makueni, Tana River, Kilifi, Nakuru, Garissa, Turkana, Isiolo, Migori, Kajiado, Nairobi, Nyandarua, Kiambu and Muranga Counties.

Speaking in Nairobi while giving an update on the ongoing floods, Mwaura said that 30 public health officials have also been deployed for a risk assessment of all 167 internally displaced camps and evaluation of safe drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) points.

‘The flooding situation persists in most parts of the country, with the latest weather forecast indicating that heavy rainfall and thunderstorms will continue in 31 Counties. The affected regions include the Lake Victoria Basin, Rift Valley, Central and the Eastern regions. Occasional
rainfall is also forecasted in Nairobi and along the Coast region, affecting the Tana River, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu Counties,’ explained Mwaura.

He added that Lake Victoria and Lake Baringo are predicted to continue causing backflow and flooding of the Counties in the Lake Victoria and Lake Baringo Basins.

Additionally, Mwaura said that continuous heavy rains in the Central region and the overflow of the Seven Forks Dams, pose the risk of increased flooding in the Tana Delta and the Garissa, Tana River, and Lamu Counties.

‘These unfavorable weather conditions continue to impact varied sectors of our economy including transport, housing, education, health and agriculture. We are equally saddened by the rising death toll and we send our sincere condolences to the affected families and friends. As of today, we are mourning the loss of a total of 257 lives with 14 adults and the 5 children reported dead in the last 24 hours. A total 188 people have been injured, while 293, 661 people have been affected a
nd 54,837 households have been displaced,’ said Mwaura.

He said that 61 health facilities have been affected in 11 Counties and crops on approximately 9,816 acres of land have been destroyed.

‘A total of 44 cholera cases have been reported so far, with the Ministry of Health together with the Kenya Red Cross conducting medical outreach programmes as well as cholera control and other waterborne diseases in Tana River and Marsabit Counties,’ said Mwaura.

The government spokesperson said that several wash away incidents have been recorded, with adverse impacts on railway lines and train operations. This include the section between Thika and Nanyuki as well as within the Chemelil and Kibigori railway section on the Nakuru- Kisumu branch line. The Nairobi- Kisumu and Nairobi-Nanyuki long distance operations have also been affected as operations are yet to resume. Repair works are currently ongoing, with the Kenya Railways Authority targeting to open the affected lines by the end of May 2024.

‘Additionally, 192
dams have been identified as high risk, following a national assessment of all dams. Consequently, varied evacuation exercises are being undertaken across the country, following a 24-hour evacuation notice, which was effective on May 2nd, and which was issued to settlements in 33 counties that are within 178 of high-risk dams and water reservoirs,’ explained Mwaura.

He said that in Nairobi County, the households residing within the 30 meters riparian corridors and other water causes, are currently being evacuated for their safety and evacuation notices have also been given to all the residents in the areas prone to landslides and mudslides.

‘Further notices have been given to those in the sections within the drainage pathways of the Kenya railway tunnels, to give way for the rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure,’ said Mwaura.

He continued… ‘There are a number of search and rescue operations that are ongoing across the country, to relocate the affected individuals to higher ground and to provide the
affected households with medical and related assistance.’

Mwaura added that the County governments, Kenya Defense Forces, Kenya Coast Guard Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Red Cross have responded to emergencies and successfully evacuated residents in Kisumu, Narok, Machakos, Nakuru and Tana River Counties.

‘We nevertheless, advise all Kenyans to stay safe and to adhere to the weather forecast and evacuation notices that are being provided by the government and other agencies. The affected individuals and families can also reach out for assistance through the emergency toll free line 0800721571,’ said Mwaura.

Source: Kenya News Agency

IOM in Tunisia facilitates voluntary return of 161 migrants from Tunisia to The Gambia

Tunis: The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Tunisia, on Thursday, facilitated the voluntary return of 161 migrants from Tunisia to The Gambia, as part of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme.

Upon their return, these migrants will receive ongoing health and reintegration support to help them rebuild their lives, IOM said in a press release.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

HPV Vaccine Outreach Rolled Out In Nakuru

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination outreach exercise is underway in Nakuru to ensure that no girl contracts HPV – a virus that has been linked to cervical cancer.

County Chief Nursing Officer Wendy Tirop while emphasizing the importance of increasing the uptake of the vaccine which currently stands at 50 percent to over 80 percent said the numbers have been low due to myths and misconceptions about HPV.

Ms Tirop said they were targeting to vaccinate girls aged 10-14 years in all the 11 Sub-Counties but noted that health workers were grappling with the issue of consent since the target beneficiaries are under age.

Speaking during the data review meeting on the devolved unit’s immunization coverage, the Chief Nursing Officer added that parents should know that the vaccine is available for free in all public health facilities. Private hospitals however charge from Sh 20,000 a dose.

‘We must redouble our efforts to increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine. Protecting our children from preventable diseas
es is paramount, and we have the power to make a difference,’ she said, noting that the uptake was now at 50 percent.

HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer in women, a leading cause of cancer-related deaths, and the second most common cancer among women.

Ms Tirop said besides vaccination, the County was training and equipping health workers to effectively screen cervical cancer and offer pre-cancer treatment.

‘It is now possible for women to get screened and treated at Sub-County hospitals. Further tests can be referred to the Nakuru Teaching and Referral Hospital where there is a histology lab,’ the Chief Nursing Officer explained

HPV vaccination was rolled out by the State in 2019, following a successful pilot programme in Kitui between 2013 and 2015.

Under the programme, the Ministry of Health targeted 3.2 million girls across the country by June 2023.

Ms Tirop pointed out that the HPV vaccine which comprises two injections taken six months apart should ideally be administer
ed to girls and women before they become sexually active and exposed to HPV. A three-dose schedule is offered to persons above 15 years.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women globally.

The global strategy to accelerate elimination of cervical cancer requires every country to have 90 percent of girls vaccinated with HPV vaccine by age of 15 and 70 percent of women screened by age of 35 and again by 45 years.

WHO recommends that comprehensive cervical cancer control should include primary prevention (Vaccination against HPV), secondary prevention (screening and treatment of precancerous lesions), tertiary prevention (diagnosis and treatment of invasive cervical cancer and palliative care.

The Chief Nursing Officer noted that HPV causes about 99 per cent of cervical cancer, reported at a tender age of 25 years.

‘My conversation with parents and guardians is that it is irresponsible to fail to take our girls for the vaccine. Cervical ca
ncer is not a disease to wish for anybody. It bleeds and kills, and needs not to happen,’ she observed

The Ministry of Health targeted to vaccinate 3.2 million girls across the country by June 2023, but so far, only 1.7 million girls, representing 53 percent have been vaccinated, with some 876,800 (27.4 percent) receiving the second jab.

Top counties in uptake of the first dose of the vaccine include Nyandarua, Nyeri, Bungoma, Nyamira, Kirinyaga, Siaya, Vihiga and Taita Taveta.

Counties of West Pokot, Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana, Isiolo, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera have recorded the lowest uptake of the jab, with only 20 percent of targeted girls vaccinated.

To boost the uptake of the jab, Ms Tirop said the county government is fighting misinformation associated with the vaccine, through sensitization at the community level.

‘Vaccination of our girls with the HPV vaccine is the only sure way of fighting cervical cancer. We have to protect the future generation by vaccinating our girls. It is worrying that
the disease is killing people left, right and center, yet we are not utilizing the solution with us,,’ added the Chief Nursing Officer

Pre-teen and pre-adolescents are the main targets in HPV vaccination, because they have the lowest sexual activity, unlike adults, who are most likely to have been exposed to any one of the HPV subtypes

Ms Tirop affirmed that if vaccination is initiated early, the morbidity and the burden that comes with cervical cancer significantly reduce.

The expert further encouraged women to undertake regular screening, for earlier detection of cervical cancer.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Civil Society representatives stage sit-in to denounce European migration-related policies

Tunis: Several Civil Society representatives on Thursday staged a sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Delegation of the European Union to Tunisia to denounce “the European migration policy.”

Spokesperson for the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) Romdhane Ben Amor said that the sit-in is a protest against the policies of European countries who are using what he described as “a policy of extortion” against southern Mediterranean countries.

This protest movement seeks to encourage European countries to stop the “inhumane policies and the security approach adopted to address migration issues,” he specified, adding that “the EU must undertake to open secure migration corridors guaranteeing the movement of migrants to solve this issue.”

“Tunisia will be the only land access route for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa seeking to reach Europe,” he pointed out, referring to reports that “European countries north of the Mediterranean are considering signing migration agreements with some ne
ighbouring countries south of the Mediterranean.”

Activist and migration expert Khaled Tababi said for his part, the sit-in aims to put an end to cooperation agreements on migration between Tunisia and European countries, indicating that the protesters call for the need to guarantee safe migration.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

NG-CDF Committee Commends Kirinyaga ICT Hub

The National Assembly committee on National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) has commended the Kirinyaga Central ICT Hub for the service it offers to the youths amid a myriad of challenges.

The over 100 seater hub currently offers Ajira training program and platform to access internet free of charge to many youths from Kirinyaga central, parts of Ndia and Gichugu constituencies due to its proximity to the two neighboring constituencies

The committee were on parliamentary visit to check on how best they can assist the hub through the NG-CDF fund to cater for expenditure and expanding the facilities across all wards.

The Committee was led by Dagoretti North MP Beatrice Elachi who revealed that some of the challenges ranging from poor internet connectivity, outdated desktops and small numbers of facilities in region.

‘We decided now to agree that the Constituency Development Fund can assist the different hubs that we have in terms of paying the current expenditures that they face, which was
a challenge before. So, the challenges of the internet, the challenges of having desktops, the challenges of even having one center in Kirinyaga need to be looked into considering the President insisted that you must take hubs to the ward level,’ Elachi said.

Elachi added that after listening to proposals from various centers, they would make recommendations that will assist all hubs countrywide to do better and improve the capacity to accommodate the growing number of youths that are enrolling in online jobs.

The legislator further challenged the ministry to provide the necessary equipment as the NG-CDF will do its part without failure.

‘But I want to ask the Ministry, in all these places we’ve gone, if there’s anything they are requesting, kindly, if it is something you can do, do it for us’

Another committee member Joshua Mwalyo (MP Masinga) said the ICT hubs are game changers in this era where job opportunities are scarce.

Maria Lekuloto, board member, NG-CDF board noted that some centers in the coun
try are not working because of the challenges that has been raised before especially the recurrent expenditure, but the current proposal by parliamentary committee will give them power to cover some expenditures

Beatrice Elachi, Member of National Assembly select committee on NG-CDF, addressing media outside Kirinyaga Central ICT Hub in Kerugoya.

‘We are aware that many of the innovation hubs around the country are not operational because of some challenges that we became aware of a long time ago, like for example the issue to do with the recurring expenditure of running the innovation hubs. But at that point in time we didn’t have anything to do about it because our hands were tied due to the guidelines or the requirements of the Act. But I want to appreciate our National Assembly Select Committee on NGCDF because they have really worked hard to ensure that that is now changed in the Act so that we are able to cover the operational or the recurrent expenditure of running the ICT hubs,’ Lekuloto said

She w
as impressed by the coming together of all the stakeholders, the National Assembly Select Committee, the Ministry in charge of ICT and the board, saying it will ensure that each and every of the stakeholders do their part to make sure that we operationalize this hub so that our students can benefit.

Kirinyaga Central ICT Hub Center Manager Albert Miano said the major challenges include the internet downtime, fluctuations of the internet. Power blackouts, more blackouts. The other challenge is few desktops and laptops in the center.

Winfred Chege, a beneficiary of a hub and currently a trainer, said freelancing is the best source of income, flexible and easy to get global clients.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Chinese Delegation in charge of building new Bizerte bridge visits ‘les Ciments de Bizerte’ plant

BIZERTE: A delegation from the Chinese company «Sichuan Road and Bridge Group,» which is in charge of building the main section of the new Bizerte Bridge, Thursday, made a visit to the Bizerte cement plant «les Ciments of Bizerte.»

The visit focused on the readiness of the Bizerte cement plant in supplying all the construction materials necessary for the construction of the bridge, in accordance with the required technical standards.

CEO of the plant “les Ciments de Bizerte”, Mohamed Laabidi, told TAP that the Chinese delegation toured the plant’s various production units, adding that the two Tunisian and Chinese parties agreed on the need to work jointly during the project’s technical phase.

In addition to their visit to the Tunisian Steel Company El Fouladh, last April, Chinese officials had meetings with the local governor, local officials and those of the Tunisian company in charge of carrying out the second and third section of the project.

The Head of State, Kais Saied, laid, on July 25, 2022, the c
ornerstone of the new Bizerte bridge project, with an estimated value of TND 750 million.

The project is being deployed over 3 phases, with a view to creating a structure more than 9 kilometers long, with a second phase which is 2.1 km long at the level of the Bizerte canal.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Sh90 Million Water Project For West Pokot

The government has launched a Sh 90 million water project aimed at providing sustainable access to clean water for more than 50,000 households in West Pokot County.

Water and Sanitation PS Julius Korir launched the Muruny-Chepareria water project, which holds great importance as it aims to address the water needs of the communities residing in Chepareria, Kipkomo, Senetwa, and Ywalateke within the Pokot South Constituency.

Korir also conducted the ground-breaking ceremony for the Mtembur-Kitalakapel water project to improve accessibility of the commodity in Kapenguria Constituency.

The PS disclosed that more than 11,000 households in locations of Mtembur and Kitalekapel including Kopoch Trading Centre and Raila Road Junction will receive benefits from the Mtembur-Kitalakapelr water project.

He revealed that the water pipeline will cater to essential government establishments and multiple educational facilities situated along its assigned path.

”Access to clean and reliable water is essential for public
health, education, and economic prosperity, making this project a crucial investment in the well-being and advancement of the local population,” he said.

The PS emphasized that the introduction of two water initiatives by the government signifies significant progress in promoting water security and improving the quality of life for residents in the area.

Korir noted that the launch of the water project in the region further underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring access to clean water for its citizens.

The PS elaborated that the Muruny Chepareria water project is set to benefit over 50,000 households in Chepareria, Kipkomo, Senetwo, Ywalateke, and Morpus within the Bartei location.

He mentioned that the project represents a major step forward in enhancing the quality of life for a large segment of the community.

He further revealed that the water project is expected to have a significant impact on the community, enhancing their health, sanitation, and general welfare.

Korir revealed that th
e water project ability was to generate 3 million liters of water daily emphasizes its substantial scale and potential influence.

He disclosed that the water project not only tackles current water scarcity issues, but also establishes the foundation for continuous socio-economic growth and enhanced quality of life for the residents.

He observed that the significant amount of water would unquestionably ease the hardship on inhabitants who had to travel far to find this vital resource before.

”The project’s aim to bring clean water closer to their homes will not only enhance the overall quality of life for these communities but also reduce the time and effort required,” PS Korir said.

He stated that the availability of dependable water sources can yield extensive advantages, ranging from enhancing health and sanitation to bolstering economic endeavors and agricultural progress.

Korir highlighted the importance of the initiative in reducing waterborne diseases, emphasizing the crucial role it plays in pro
tecting public health in the county.

Water Principal Secretary Julius Korir launched the Sh90 million Muruny – Chepareria water project, a water project worth 90 million in West Pokot county.

”The objective of the water initiative for residents is to improve the health and well-being of local communities by addressing health risks associated with contaminated water sources. This initiative aims to alleviate the burden of preventable illnesses caused by water-related issues,” he said.

Korir stated that incorporating a gravity system is crucial for guaranteeing the enduring sustainability of the fundamental water supply infrastructure.

”By employing a gravity-based system for water distribution, the need for intricate pumping mechanisms is significantly reduced, resulting in lower energy consumption. Consequently, this enhances the system’s reliability and resilience,” the PS stated.

Korir also emphasized the significance of effective governance and optimal resource utilization in advancing development
and securing financial backing for water-related projects in counties.

Area Governor Simon Kachapin noted that the launch of the water initiative underscores the fundamental importance of access to clean and safe water for the residents of West Pokot County and emphasized the importance of the water initiative, underscoring the county government’s dedication to prioritizing the welfare of its residents.

He extended his appreciation to various stakeholders, including the European Union, Water Sector Trust Fund, and Kapenguria Water and Sewerage Company, for their contribution towards the successful implementation of the water project in the county.

Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto expressed his gratitude for the contributions made by various stakeholders in the water project, noting that it demonstrates the collaborative approach taken by all those involved and their shared dedication to ensuring water security and enhanced sanitation in the region.

On his part, West Pokot Deputy County Commissioner Wycliffe Mu
nanda, conveyed his appreciation to the sponsors of the water project, emphasizing that the project has significantly enhanced the quality of life for numerous residents.

Also present was the Water Trust Fund CEO Willis Ombai.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Digital Identity (ID) Roll-Out On Course, PS

Kenyans have been assured that their data is safe as the government’s moves to introduce a third generation digital Identity Card.

Immigration and Citizen Services Cabinet Secretary Julius Bitok, said that the government is complying with all the regulations and legal frameworks required, to ensure wananchi’s data is safe and secure.

Speaking today, during the Network of Africa Data Protection Authorities (NADPA) Conference deliberation on digital ID and the role of Data Protection Authorities in Africa, the PS said that the government has been able to conduct more than 10 data impact protection assessment for the digital ID, with the support from the office of the Data Commissioners.

‘We are not doing anything against the law, we are doing everything possible to ensure that we stick to the law, as far as ensuring that data is protected,’ he added.

Prof Bitok explained that the government is in the process of rolling-out digital ID for all Kenyans, transiting from the old generation ID to the third genera
tion ID, confirming that no one will be discriminated on the account of not being able to acquire one.

‘I want to assure the country that we are putting mechanisms to ensure that we have a smooth transition from the old generation ID to the digital ID, which is a third generation ID, and that no Kenyan will be discriminated against,’ he emphasised.

He confirmed that e-Citizen platform now has more than 13 million registered users, meaning they are already having some kind of digital ID they are using to enjoy the government services.

Currently the 13 million people accessing the e-Citizen daily is at 50 percent and this , the PS said, is a good progress since the process started one year ago.

‘We have worked very hard and made progress to ensure that we push the numbers and on average, we are enrolling about 30,000 people every day on e-Citizens and when looking at the entire population of 32 million adults, we are halfway and hoping within one year to two years, we should have everybody having a digital
ID,’ the PS said.

He said that with more than 16,000 services on-line, the government collects more than Sh700 million per day on e-Citizen, even as Kenyans continue to utilise services.

‘Our plan is in the short term to ensure that we are collecting Sh2 billion per day,’ the PS said.

He added that a lot of progress is being made, explaining that when it started the platform was collecting Sh 50 million, however, currently it’s at Sh 700 million but in the next few months it can be able to get to Sh 2 billion in collections per day, even as they target to serve one (1) million Kenyans on a daily basis.

‘One million Kenyans should be able to enjoy e-Citizen services and no Kenyan will be discriminated. In any case, the government has already announced that it removed vetting process, for important documents whether you want an ID or Passport in an effort to ensure that no Kenyan feels left out, as far as acquisition of these very important documents is concerned,’ Prof Bitok said.

The digital ID, the PS s
aid is also not an exception and that all Kenyans will be given an opportunity to enroll on digital ID.

To put it in context, Prof. Bitok explained that there are four products in the digital ID ecosystem dubbed ‘Maisha ecosystem’ and this involved a Maisha number that is being given to the newborns and will run across their lives.

‘This number will be a number used in primary, secondary and also university. It will also be the same number for ID, for the NSSF, NHIF and will appear in one’s death certificate,’ he explained.

The second component, the PS continued is the ‘Maisha card’ which is a smart card which carries the maisha number and is the third generation ID while the third is the virtual version of it which is ‘Maisha Digital’

‘Instead of carrying the physical card, you can carry your phone around and be able to enjoy services using your phone,’ he said

The fourth component, Prof. Bitok confirmed is what is being called ‘Maisha integrated database’ having one database called IPRS, which connects
the entire government, is connected to e-Citizen and where once accesses services

‘The National Registration Bureau NRB, civil registration, immigration, all are connected to IPRS through inter-operability so that all services can be accessed easily, without necessarily having to pick on biometrics everywhere you go,’ he said.

He said that his department is working very closely with the ICT ministry to ensure that there is internet everywhere in the country saying it connectivity has been a challenge in the rural areas,

‘ICT is also doing a lot of work to ensure that the entire country is connected with Internet connectivity, so that people can enjoy their services in the comfort of their homes,’ he added.

Prof Bitok assured all Kenyans that even as they access services using their phones, the system in place in the country protects and secures personal data whether its access to ID, Driving license, police clearance or any government service.

The PS noted that in this space of digital transformation, wh
ich His Excellency the President has made very clear, there are three components that is digital identity, Interoperability and Payment Integration.

‘You have to identify yourself. Interoperability is where the system is able to talk to other systems across government and payment integration is able to assimilate our payments to the extent that we are able to see clearly who is paying for what and we have made a lot of progress working with the Ministry of ICT

Immaculate Kassait, Data protection Commissioner said they have offered advisory and confirming that they have already received data protection impact assessment from the Ministry of Interior.

‘We have also offered training and they have been very proactive in coming to us for training and in addition we continue to do an audit just to make sure that we are securing the information and that the data is in their custody,’ she said.

The two day conference brought together more than 20 countries from around Africa to engage on the levels of data protec
tion and exchange ideas of how African needs to protect their data.

Source: Kenya News Agency