Archive for month: October 2018

Medic East Africa Conference

Medic East Africa Conference

 

 

6th Healthcare Management Conference

The 6th annual Healthcare Management conference, organized by Medic East Africa, took place at Kenyatta International Conference Centre ,Nairobi, Kenya from 25th  to  27th September 2018.The conference had three different themes for each of the three days. The first day’s theme was “From vision to Action – Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa, the second day was “The Role of Clinical Officers in the Implementation of Universal Health Coverage” and the third day’s theme was “Quality and Access under Universal Health Coverage”. The objective of the forum was to drive the region towards a health leadership infrastructure that is focused on perfomance and is held accountable for delivering on specific health system goals.

Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa ,day one theme during Medic East Africa conference at KICC, Nairobi

The conference brought together over 150 exhibitors from 18 countries. The first day conference was moderated by Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation. In his presentation, he emphasized that the key barrier to reinforcing healthcare systems in east Africa are; geographical and financial. Dr. Thakker informed the attendees that over 85% of Kenya population do not have any form of a cover and rely on out of pocket. 50% of the population do not have an access to primary healthcare and this set back results from poverty. He called upon all healthcare workers in attendance to come out strongly in health advocacy because unfavorable health outcomes such as maternal mortality are increasingly becoming a daily occurrence. Dr. Thakker further urged the attendees to capitalize technology, which is in itself revolutionizing daily.

Dr. Amit N. Thakker, chairman Kenya Healthcare Federation, speaking at the Reinforcing Healthcare Systems in East Africa, Medic East Africa Conference at KICC,Nairobi

 

“We need to adopt auxiliary health workers and also strongly recognize community health workers for the big role they play in health. The ministry of health should have considered hiring the specialists that we don’t have instead of employing what we already have because this doesn’t help in filling the identified gaps in the workforce. The BIG 4 Agenda is supposed to ensure creation of job opportunities and 5% of the jobs are expected to come from the health sector. Therefore I call upon the public and private health sector to operate in harmony to see great job creation and ensure good service delivery.” Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman ,Kenya Healthcare Federation.

Dr. Andrew Mulwa CEC-Health, Makueni County informed the attendees that some of the challenges in the county level towards achieving Universal Health Coverage are: lack of healthcare workers i.e. the recruitment and retention of human resources for health is very low. This is because most of the specialists that are required in the counties, are mostly concentrated in the urban areas. Finance is an important factor affecting access to quality healthcare and is challenge because most of the population does not have a formal employment therefore cannot purchase or contribute to medical cover plans. This leads to over reliance on out of pocket expenditure. He however added that recruitment and retention of the health workers should match the county’s economical abilities.

Dr. Andrew Mulwa CEC-Health, Makueni County presenting on the achievements of Makueni County, during the Medic East Africa conference ,KICC, Nairobi

Dr. Janet Muriuki, Deputy Chief of Party/ Technical Director – Intrahealth International was in attendance and said  “We need to motivate the health workers, to help in reducing immigration. Assessing the reason for immigration, creating a favorable environment for them to work and giving them a good remuneration will also help in retaining the health workers. However, there is low distribution of health workers where majority are concentrated in the urban areas. Question is, are we taking training where it is needed? Are the specialist deployed where they are needed? This should be the initial stage in gap analysis. Technology should be a vital tool in this .This is because it can display the gaps in the human resources and distribution of health workers and track the training of health workers i.e. who needs long term training and who needs short term training. Therefore it’s important to deploy specialist where there is deficiency and not where there is a surplus.” She emphasized that the health sector needs to employ workers who are fit for purpose and the health workers should ensure they are safe in their working environment. This would serve as one of the solutions for curbing immigration of health workers. According to world health organization(WHO),the ratio of health workers to the population per county should be 23:10,000 in Kenya whereas the current ratio is still low as we stand at 13:10,000. Dr. Muriuki noted that the counties with highest health workers deficiency are  Isiolo and Wajir.

Ms. Faith Muigai, Regional Director, SafeCare, Pharm Access Foundation reiterated that there is need to need to shift attitude and create a good environment for patient care. We also have to change the narrative if we want to see good service delivery. However, she noted that there is poor or lack of infrastructure to enhance this. There is no independent body that checks the health workers performance thus there is no competition that would drive quality of service delivery. Ms. Faith said that more health facilities should be accredited and the accreditation system need not be a pass or fail model but one of incremental growth. In conclusion, Ms. Faith mentioned that data is required to drive transparency and accountability, that there is need to leverage on public private partnership so as to drive the quality agenda, and finally that there is need to invest in proactive and responsive versus reactive solutions.

Some of the major concerns that were raised from the audience were: there should be an assessment carried out on why there is poor distribution of health workers and even lots of immigration observed among the health workers and come up with a solution. There should also be a safe working environment for the health workers because some of the equipment and medication used exposes them to the dangers of contracting infections or even developing other health conditions. There was a recommendation that the health workers should be trained on disaster management even as we assess the training needs in the healthcare industry. Participants expressed unanimous consensus that there should be capacity building among the leaders to enhance accountability on financial management and on performance of healthcare workers. The policies created should also speak to each other.

The 6th annual Healthcare Management conference was a success bringing together a wide representation of stakeholders. The presenters provided key insights into the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare industry while the audience contributed engaging and thoughtful questions and remarks. If these ideas were implemented, we would expect to see the healthcare industry change for the good of all Kenyans! We look forward to the next conference

Making healthcare affordable and accessible in the counties

Making healthcare affordable and accessible in the counties

 

Achieving Universal Health Coverage in the Counties

Kenya Healthcare Federation held county Stakeholder engagement forums in Uasin Gishu County, Kisumu and Isiolo County. Dr. Bola Tafawa, a retired KHF Director, conducted the forum at Uasin Gishu County. Where she introduced Kenya Healthcare Federation to the attendees ,in her opening remarks, she said “The BIG FOUR Agenda has helped Kenyans think on how to get the country back to business” She informed the attendees that, inorder to achieve Universal Health Coverage, quality healthcare should be accessible and affordable without financial strains.

 

Dr. Bola Tafawa, Former Director at Kenya Healthcare Federation conducting the county stakeholder engagement forum in Uasin Gishu County

It was noted that Uasin Gishu County has 80% of the population living in the informal sector, the poverty index is at 48% and 5% of the population is over 70 years of age. However, the percentage increase in private hospitals is higher than public hospitals which shows that the private hospitals are gaining more from NHIF. “Can we devolve Universal Health Coverage? Is it possible to start at the county level rather than at NHIF level and how can we be more innovative?” Dr. Bola Tafawa. The discussion was divided into three parts as follows: Bucket A – Focus on the 12% who can pay but are not paying ( find out whether they are willing to pay and not able to pay or they are able to pay but don’t want to pay.),Bucket B – pool the poor, Bucket C – pooling from the rich to the poor.

 

“People need to understand that Universal Health Coverage is not free and we need to look internally and think about whether we have the resources to pay. The schemes must look at prevention because we cannot afford to treat all the people. It is known that the best athletes come from this area, why do we not give more priority to encourage this? let us not think about NHIF only but also think about what model will work. People run away from the public sector because they feel like they are not getting the services they need and we need to address that.” Dr. Sitinei, JHPEGO.

“In the context of Universal Health Coverage, there is more of healthcare financing and it is well noted that NHIF focuses on curative and this may be a burden to NHIF, therefore, as a county we need to push for preventive care as we think of a model in Uasin Gishu and consider what is legal.” Maurice Oduor – Moi University.

“We need to be clear what we mean by Universal Health Coverage. I am representing healthcare financing in the County members. We know that UHC agenda is rolling out and in Uasin Gishu we have done assessments of facilities so that we are able to provide the minimum care. We have identified the gaps and now we just want to fill in. The steering committee is designing a package and we are thinking about what the minimum package should be.” Ms. Everlyne Rotich Health CEC – Uasin Gishu County. Ms. Rotich further encouraged the attendees to consider the innovation to put in place inorder to provide preventive care in Uasin Gishu County which should also be equitable and accessible.

The Deputy Governor, reassured the attendees that they are going to solve a lot of problems and save lives so as to achieve UHC. He further noted that the cost of treatment is part of the reason why people slide into poverty.

KHF further held a county stakeholder engagement forum, in Isiolo County, Hon. Isaack Abduba Fayo, leader of majority and member of health committee ,informed the attendees that Ksh.220Million has been given to the countie’s  health sector. The Deputy Gorvenor, Dr. Abdi Issa informed the attendees on the important of strengthening primary healthcare and decongest the hospitals so as to increase accessibilit

Isiolo County has 38,000 households of which only 22% have a cover the only coverage is 22% of the population. The biggest challenge is the poor. There are 200,000 patients waived every month at the referral hospital. If Makueni care is to be adopted, 500Ksh cannot quarantee quality healthcare. However, National Hospital Insurance Fund(NHIF) is a challenge because 80% of People in Isiolo county do not have a formal employment therefore, subsidization is important.

Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation challenged the county health stakeholders, come up with strategies that will allow better healthcare he emphasized that they should capitalize on county stakeholder forum and Public – Private Partnership(PPP).

“Remember that if you improve healthcare then there will be economic development and you will be able to improve quality” Eddine  “If frontier counties development council (FCDC) are facing the same issues on supply chain then maybe they can do group purchasing for the nine counties. Private sector would support this since the interventions would have an immediate impact” Dr. Daniella Munene, Director, Kenya Healthcare Federation.

A fruitful county stakeholder engagement was observed in Kisumu County. From a survey that has been carried out by the county in partnership with PharmAccess and world Bank, there are 160,000 households in Kisumu. 30% of the populations is unable to pay and the county government is planning to cater for the 30%. From a gap analysis and economic survey carried out in 2017, 10% of the population are from the formal settlements and are able to pay. 20% are from the informal settlement and may be struggling to pay.

Dr. Amit Speaking at Kisumu County Stakeholder engagement Forum

Dr. Thakker, advised the county health stakeholders to come up with a better financing model that will also put the poor into consideration. Some of his concerns were; if a person is on low income and is able to pay for year one, what happens to the same person for the second year if they are not able to pay? Therefore, inorder to roll out Universal Health Coverage, The finance model should be affordable and sustainable throughout. He further advised them to have different levels for example, 1000 – 3,000Ksh. or start with what they can afford. Dr. Amit assured the attendees of full support from the private sector such as giving technical advise, actural support, banking model and others who will come in.

The Deputy Governor thanked Kenya Healthcare Federation team, under the leadership of the chairman Dr. Amit Thakker, for organizing the meeting.in his remarks he said “ This meeting has come at the right time, we have learnt a lot and from this meeting and our programs are on course and have been enriched as a result of the engagement. Dr. Mathew Ochieng Owili.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Health Sector advocates for quality and affordable Medicines

Private Health Sector advocates for quality and affordable Medicines

Effective supply chain will establish a strong road map to achieving Universal Health Coverage

Quality and affordable medicines is key in achieving Universal Health Coverage. However in Kenya the prices of medication is very high thus putting patients with Non Communicable Diseases especially Diabetes and Hypertension in financial hardship and others are not able to keep up with the medication leading to more complications.

Supply chain committee meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation offices during the quarterly meeting

It has also been noted that there is importation of illicit drugs and the government should be very keen in curbing this. How can the private sector contribute in improving the quality of medication and ensuring the medication is affordable?

Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) supply chain committee held it’s quarterly meeting on 28th August 2018 at KHF offices. The meeting was chaired by the committee chair Dr. William Mwatu. Supply chain falls in two of the president’s BIG 4 Agenda that is manufacturing and affordable healthcare. The supply chain committee has been pushing for the support of local manufacturers this makes the medicines affordable.

“What are the reasons that support parallel importation and what are the impact? One of the major reason is to make profit but this has a negative impact on patients safety” Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Director Kenya Healthcare Federation. “When it comes to the supply of medication, the private sector should use Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a channel to advocate for the pharmaceutical regulatories to operate within the law.” Dr. Anastacia Nyalita, Director.

There was a consensus on developing a unique identifier and best coding mechanism, for example each drug pack should contain original details so that when a patient uses the code to search on the details of the pack , they should be able to get them. “Therefore the supply chain should use PPP as a channel to advocate for this.” Dr. William Mwatu Supply Chain Committee Chair.

Recently, the Pharmacy and Poison Board (PPB) of Kenya made a bold decision to address what maybe the local pharmaceutical industry’s most controversial issue, ‘Parallel Importation of pharmaceutical products. There has been few attempts made to tackle this but not be successful, however PPB hopes that the current attempt will be successful through considering all important aspects in order to build a consensus among all interested parties in coming up with a policy position that is not only widely acceptable but also addresses most of the contentious issues once and for all.

The key issues to consider is create more incentives towards local manufacturing, change perspective and strategize on how to marketing for local products. A consideration should be put on what percentage off is to be given to the local manufacturer to give value addition. The main aim of reducing the cost is to increase on accessibility and not maximize profit. The committee will be pushing for implementation of the guideline draft act by pharmacy and poisons Board (PPB) Dr. William Mwatu was re-elected as the committee chair and Mr. Chris Masila was elected as the committee vice Chair.

ICT for efficient health delivery

ICT for efficient health delivery

 The role of Information Communication and Technology in achieving Universal Health Coverage

Information, Communication and Technology plays a big role towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Basing the foundation on Primary Healthcare to achieve universal health coverage, ICT plays an important role in supporting, enhancing and accelerating the education on primary health care. Though It’s an effective means of developing workforce capacity, It helps to recruit and retain professionals and It is cost-saving. It facilitates social and collaborative learning which has great impact on patient outcomes, brings contextualized care to where it’s needed and It improves the quality of care by facilitating access to evidence-based medicine and reflective learning.

ICT and Mobile Health Committee meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation office during the quarterly meetings

The ICT and Mobile Health Committee held it’s quarterly meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation offices on 23rd August 2018, to contrive on how ICT can contribute towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. The meeting was chaired by the committee chair, Mr. Mark Achola.

Mr. Joel Lehmann from infospective research, presented on the data exchange and information exchange that the data exchange framework subcommittee has been working on. The main purpose of  health data and information exchange is: Private-to-private information exchange – for more cost-effective delivery of quality service through continuity of care/ managed care, prevention of fraud, better equipment utilization rates, Industry benchmarks and indicators for business intelligence and advocacy with government which can also help for the design of viable reimbursement mechanisms and value-based care approaches and simplified private-to-public data submission which will reduce the cost of compliance with mandatory requirement and contribute to public health goals and health security (e.g. surveillance).

The data exchange framework subcommittee will; Help create the required political environment through: Identifying quick-wins and no go areas, Collaborating with industry leaders, Provide a trusted environment of common (rather than particular) interest, Help facilitate technology adaptation, Set up a demo-case of improved information exchange, Develop easy-to-understand documentation of government policies and investment scenarios and Support the development and adaptation of industry-wide standards.

The subcommittee outlined a road map towards enhacing the heath data and information exchange as follows; Make the case for private sector data exchange among industry leaders, including demonstration of analytics and high-level meeting, Practical documentation of current policies, standards, and investment scenarios (cost/benefit for individual companies) and Industry information meeting on current regulation and self-regulation, concrete steps required, benefits & costs for information exchange and Small-scale, fully functional information exchange with a selected number of providers/payers.

There was a suggestion that ICT committee needs to present key issues during the ministerial stakeholder forum(MSF) to this effect a public – private partnership sub – committee (PPP) was formed so as to present any ICT issues and advocacy during the MSF meetings. There was an election conducted for the new committee leaders and  Dr.  Tooroti Mwirigi was elected as the chair  and  Ms. Serah Mohammed Vice Chair. This was the first meeting under the directorship of newly elected Director, Dr. Daniella Munene.

 

 

 

 

Private Health Sector holds an engagement with Health Benefit Advisory Panel

Private Health Sector holds an engagement with Health Benefit Advisory Panel

 

The Private Health Sector to support Health Benefit Advisory Panel

As a way to expand access to higher quality health services and achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) the government of Kenya is looking at public private partnership (PPP) so as to leverage capital, managerial capacity and know how from the private sector. The government of Kenya is also increasingly promoting PPPs as a means to unlock financing and expertise in vision 2030. Important strides have been made in order to build the necessary regulatory frameworks and support systems that can facilitate PPPs to add value to the health sector.

Public – Private Partnership Committee during the quarterly meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation Offices

Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) through Public Private Partnership (PPP) committee identifies the gaps within the public health sector and advocates on how to fill the gaps. During the presidential round table and ministerial stakeholder forum. The PPP committee held its quarterly meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation offices on 23rd August 2018.This was the first meeting held under the directorship Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu and Ms. Joyce Wanderi. The meeting was chaired by the committee director, Dr. Kitulu.

The committee has held several engagements with the ministry of health through Ministerial Stake holder Forum. During the eighth ministerial stakeholder forum, the health cabinet secretary, Mrs. Sicily Kariuki, who chaired the meeting , emphasized on Universal Health Coverage as big task that the ministry is looking at and requires a lot of time and resources, of which cannot get from the government alone. “With lots of requirement in terms of time and resources therefore, this is where the dialogue around Public – Private Partnership (PPP) is important and we should consider the future of PPPs in this sector. It is important that there is one side from the private sector.” Mrs. Sicily Kariuki Health CS.

The ministry of health established a Benefits Advisory Panel that was tasked with coming up with costs and packages. The private sector was invited for a stakeholder engagement role. Dr. Amit Thakker – Chairman Kenya Healthcare Federation concurred with the CS where he emphasized that Inclusiveness is important as Ministerial Stakeholder Forum is made the epitome of Non-State Actors.

The benefit Advisory Panel invited Kenya Healthcare Federation that represents the private health sector for a stakeholder breakfast meeting at Sarova Panafric hotel on 3rd August 2018 to discuss more on the benefit package. It was noted that National Health Insurance Fund(NHIF) may be overburdened and cannot be relied on as the key financier for Universal Health Coverage however, the poor may not be covered. There was a consensus that the benefits advisory panel should share the package with the private sector, inorder to identify the gaps hence have discussions on how to fill the gaps.

KHF has held five county stakeholder engagements i.e. Kirinyaga, Makueni, Isiolo, Uasingishu and Kisumu to assess the financing models that have been established, identify the gaps hence advice on how to fill the gaps. There was a consensus on reviewing the PPP ACT and the committee should also ensure the PPP retreat should be planned this is because the health CS Mrs. Sicily Kariuki assured of her readiness to attend the retreat. There were elections carried out for the new committee chair and vice chair where Mr. Antony Okoth was re-elected to be the Committee chair and Dr.Christine Sadia as the vice chair.

 

 

Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Second Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri

Kenya Vision 2030 delivery secretariat in partnership with Ministry of Health (MoH), Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF), Amref Health Africa, Kenya Cardiac Society, Council of Governors, NCD Alliance Kenya, Kenyatta University and Nyeri county health department organized the second Universal Health Coverage Conference held at Green Hills Hotel, Nyeri County from 11th – 12th September 2018. The conference sought to address the non – communicable disease (NCD) challenge to the country and was appropriately themed “Universal Health Coverage for Sustainable Development – Transformative Solutions to Halt and Reverse the Non-Communicable Disease Epidemic”

The conference was graced by several dignitaries: Her Excellency Dr. Carol Karugu, Deputy Governor, Nyeri County; His Excellency Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, Governor, Kisumu County; His Excellency Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Governor, Makueni County; Dr. Julius Muia EBS, Principal Secretary, State Department for Planning;  Dr. Racheal Kamau, CEC Health, Nyeri County.

Hon. Caroline Karugu, Deputy Governor Nyeri county, addressing the attendees during the second universal health coverage conference in Nyeri county

Rev. Samuel Njenga of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa opened the conference with prayer and thereafter giving a brief address. He said that the church has a vital role to play in advocating for and sensitizing the people about good health.

Dr. Kamau welcomed participants and thanked the organizers for choosing Nyeri County to host the conference, adding that she looked forward to fruitful deliberations.  “Nyeri County is facing a high burden of NCDs. We need to change our ways of practice and take up the challenge” she remarked. Thereafter Dr. Kibachio Mwangi, the Head of NCD unit at MoH highlighted the key objectives of the conference which were: Understand the NCDs challenge; outline the role of private sector in addressing NCDs; outline the role of consumer organizations in protecting the public from sale of harmful products; and outline the role of government, civil society and the youth in addressing NCDs. Dr. Mwangi emphamphised that NCDs are not purely a health agenda, but require a multi-sectoral approach incorporating sectors such as transport, education and agriculture particularly in prevention measures.

“We should put health first; unfortunately what are addressing is a result of our choices such as what we eat. Good health plays an important role in boosting the economy, reducing poverty, increasing education and boosting investment” Dr. Julius Muia said in his address to the conference.Preventive measures against NCDs took center stage in the deliberations. It was appreciated that more focus needs to move to prevention as we continue in disease management interventions.

The consensus on the way forward included creating awareness, education of the public and preventive measures against NCDs, adoption of a multi-sectoral approach, utilizing Public- Private Partnerships and supporting local pharmaceutical manufacturers to make medicines affordable and strengthening the supply chain. “Managing NCDs is very expensive. If we truly want to make UHC achievable, we need to address the issue of cost. If we reduce costs we’ll be able to expand the care. The biggest PPP opportunity in cost reduction is in supply chain”, said Dr. Peter Kamunyo, Director, Kenya Healthcare Federation.

Further, there was consensus that community health volunteers (CHVs) should be officially entrenched in the health system. It was recognized that CHVs play a very critical role in NCD public sensitization. It was agreed that NHIF be strengthened, that it should cover preventive health checks and that it should ensure that the poor and vulnerable are covered. The country should strategize on addressing the poor availability, lack of affordability and inadequate resources as barriers to UHC. Young people should be informed and sensitized on NCDs so they can act as role models to their peers in NCDs prevention. NCD education should be incorporated in the school curriculum.

A patient representative at the conference made an appeal to the health sector to address survivorship of NCDs, a phase of management that insurance doesn’t cover. She highlighted that cancer patients are usually deserted by friends and family after diagnosis due to the burden of their disease on their loved ones. “We are left alone. It’s time for medics to inform us how we can survive after diagnosis of an NCD like cancer. This way trauma can reduce and a patient can accept the situation, love on themselves and even achieve their goals. The price of medications is usually very high and almost unaffordable. Patients get financially drained while trying to get medication”, said Elizabeth, a cancer survivor of nine years.

Professor Nyong’o called on stakeholders to identify areas of inequity in health care, and strategize on how to fill the gaps. “Counties don’t have a strong primary healthcare system, the aim of UHC is to strengthen primary healthcare” said Dr. Karugu, while Prof. Kibwana called upon all pilot counties to learn from each other as a way achieving UHC uniformly, further adding that CHVs will play a big role in rolling out UHC, particularly in educating communities.

Professor Kibutha Kibwana, Governor speaking at a press briefing during the second Universal Health Coverage Conference in Nyeri County

The conference was well attended attracting 400 delegates drawn from both public and private health sectors. There was representation from national government, county governments, World Bank, the United Nations office in Kenya, Non-governmental organizations and youth organizations. KHF was represented by the chairman, Dr. Amit Thakker, directors Dr. Peter Kamunyo and Dr. Daniella Munene, Dr. Joy Mugambi, deputy Secretary General, Kenya Medical Association (all panelists), as well as several KHF members who attended as delegates. A number of KHF member organizations sponsored the event.

 

China- Kenya Pharmaceutical Trade and Investment Forum

China- Kenya Pharmaceutical Trade and Investment Forum

China- Kenya Pharmaceutical Trade and Investment Forum

The China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines & Health Products (CCCMHPIE), held a trade and investment forum together with the Ministry of Health Kenya and the private health sector in Kenya on the 30th of August 2018 at the Laico Regency Hotel in Nairobi.

Public and Private Health sector stakeholders during China – Kenya Pharmaceutical Trade and Investment Forum

The main aim of the forum was to establish and maintain a good relationship between Kenyan and Chinese healthcare sectors and further explore investment opportunities in the Kenyan pharmaceutical industry. This forum was sponsored by UKAID and brought together participants from Ministry of Health Kenya, Pharmacy and Poisons Board Kenya, the Kenya Healthcare Federation, the Kenya Chamber of Commerce, the Economic & Commercial Counsellor’s Office at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the China Africa Friendship Association.

Ms. Guo Xiaodan deputy secretary of sub-chamber, department of pharmaceutical, CCCMHPIE, opened the forum by welcoming the guests. In her opening speech, she reiterated that she’s extremely happy to visit Kenya and establish a lasting relationship between Kenyan and Chinese healthcare sectors.

CCCMHPIE was established in May in 1989. It is the most internationalized and influential healthcare industry association in China the key areas of responsibility include: policy and industry coordination, conferences and training, exhibitions registration, consulting, market surveys and analysis reports in traditional Chinese medicines, pharmaceuticals, medical devices & dressings, biopharmaceuticals and functional cosmetics.

In his speech, Mr. Tan Shengcai, head of the Chinese healthcare delegation gave a background of Kenya – China relationship especially in investment. He emphasized that Kenya has been contracting China in building and construction particularly in road construction. There is need to have deeper engagement especially in the healthcare industry. He invited the Chinese healthcare delegates to evaluate the Kenyan market and see possible investment opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation welcomed the China healthcare delegation to Kenya. In his speech, he informed the attendees that the investment forum is very timely since it touches on two pillars of the BIG 4 Agenda i.e. Manufacturing and Affordable Healthcare for all. He however emphasized that there is need to bridge the gaps in healthcare drivers, such as Human Resource for Health, Healthcare financing healthcare and ICT and Mobile Health.

Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman – Kenya Healthcare Federation speaking during the China – Kenya Pharmaceutical Trade & Investment Forum

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board was clear on their regulatory role in the practice of Pharmacy and the Manufacture and Trade in drugs and poisons. The Board aims to implement the appropriate regulatory measures to achieve the highest standards of safety, efficacy and quality for all drugs, chemical substances and medical devices locally manufactured, imported, exported, distributed, sold, or used, to ensure the protection of the consumer as envisaged by the laws regulating drugs in Kenya.

There was a B2B session thereafter conducted by CCCMHPIE where the China delegation had an impactful engagement with the Kenyan health sector, both private and public. The China delegation touched on business opportunities and engagements that can be established between Kenya and China. The Chinese team visited Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) thereafter.

 

Kenya Healthcare Federation members meeting

Kenya Healthcare Federation members meeting

Kenya Healthcare Federation Fourth Bimonthly Members Meeting

Kenya Healthcare Federation(KHF) held it’s fourth bi-monthly members meeting on 29th August 2018, at Pride Inn Hotel in Westlands. This was the first meeting after the new Board of Directors and committee chairs and vice chairs were elected to serve for a term of three years. The meeting was sponsored by Lufthansa Group Airlines.

Mr. Tobias Ernst, Regional Sales Director, Lufthansa Group Airline, speaking at the KHF Bi-monthy members meeting

The federation chairman Dr. Amit Thakker started off the meeting by welcoming the members and invited guests, particularly extending a warm welcome to new members. Mr. Tobias Ernst, Regional sales Director, Lufthansa Group Airlines, thanked the federation chair, Board of Directors  and the entire KHF membership for the good relationship that was established between KHF and Lufthansa Group Airlines. He said he was looking forward to working together in enhancing quality and better healthcare to Kenyans. Mr. Tobias further emphasized that health & medical products are a niche business for Lufthansa Group Airlines, which offers high impact, customer focused professional medical services.

“Lufthansa sees the importance and need to offer a state-of-the-art medical portfolio to our customers. As the world’s population is getting older, people seek healthcare abroad and might need to get back to their home country when injured during vacation or seek intensive care abroad.” Mr. Ernst said. He  then extended an invitation to medical doctors within KHF to register as “doctors on board” with Lufthansa Airline.

The meeting was also graced by Book Aid International whose mission is to enhance access to quality health information through donations of books hence making education more affordable and accessible.

Northern Nomadic Disabled Persons Organization (NONDO), Isiolo County were also present and made a presentation. They announced that they would host a conference from 27th – 29th September 2018 during which there would be a desert wheel race to fund-raise for 100 children from nomadic, arid and semiarid counties who need corrective surgery.

There were updates from KHF committees on the progress they’ve made in terms of advocacy. The healthcare financing committee has held five county stakeholder engagement forums on healthcare financing. The counties engaged were Kisumu, Kirinyanga, Uasingishu, Makueni and Isiolo. The county health teams reported that the forums were beneficial in guiding them to carefully consider affordable financing models that will be tailor made for the needs of their counties and that will enable all their residents access quality healthcare without financial strain.

The public – private partnership (PPP) committee has been playing a key role in the Presidential Round Table (PRT), the Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). Some of the issues the committee has been handling are identifying gaps in the public health sector, proposing solutions and pushing for implementation. There is an ambitious task ahead to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) whose requirements in terms of time and resources cannot come from the government alone. Therefore, the dialogue around Public Private Partnership (PPP) is important. It was reported that the private health sector through KHF had been invited to participate in the stakeholder engagement with the Health Benefits Advisory Panel established by MoH.

There is a problem in recruitment and retention of human resources for health (HRH) and this needs to be addressed by the public health sector in consultation with private health sector. The public health sector needs to source and retain human capital, develop specialized cadres and address neglected cadres.The HRH committee has been advocating for innovative models as part of the solution and advising the sector accordingly through various forums available such as conferences, MSF, Council of Governors (COG) and county engagements.

Dr. Amit Thakker, Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation addressing the attendees during the bi-monthly members meeting at Prideinn Hotel in Westlands

 

The health regulations & quality standards and supply chain committees have been advocating for quality and safe healthcare, stressing that the focus on affordable healthcare should not distract the country from ensuring quality health services. Quality accreditation of health institutions is one way to ensure safe care of patients. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a growing concern in our country. People living with NCDs are particularly subjected to financial strain as their treatment is often life long. Seeing as NCD patient care is mostly through medication, the supply chain committee recognizes that the cost of medicines in Kenya needs to be addressed.  The committee advocates for support of local manufacturers of pharmaceutical products, which will lower the cost of medication.

Committees have carried out elections of officials for a new term. Dr. Torooti Mwirigi and Ms. Serah Mohamed have been elected as chair and vice chair respectively in the ICT & Mobile Health committee. Mr. Kennedy Auma remains chair of HRH Committee, with Dr. Joyce Sitonik as vice chair. Mr. Antony Okoth is the chair of PPP Committee with Dr. Christine Sadia as the vice chair. Ms. Millicent Olulo is the chair of the Health Regulations & Quality Standards committee with Mr. Antony Jaccodul as vice chair. Dr. William Mwatu remains chair of the Supply Chain committee with Mr. Chris Masila elected as vice chair.

 

Building capacity in the Human Resource for Health

Building capacity in the Human Resource for Health

Strengthening Health Workforce in Kenya

The KHF Human Resource for Health (HRH) Committee held a breakfast meeting at KHF offices on 16th of August 2018 to discuss on the committee progress in advocating for adequate human resources in the health sector, recruitment and retention of human capital and how to get the neglected cadres recognized.

Human Resource for Health committee during the quarterly meeting at Kenya Healthcare Federation Offices

The meeting was chaired by the committee’s vice Chair, Dr. Joyce Sitonik. The committee has had several engagements with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to discuss on how to get the neglected cadres recognized. In last year’s meetings with MoH, the primary agenda for the committee was to identify the neglected specialized cadres and those that need more attention in terms of regulation and standardization in order to bring them to a good quality assurance level. Thereafter, a partnership formed between Amref Health Africa, Kenya Healthcare Federation and Malteser International to strategize on how these cadres can be strengthened.

The Identified cadres were, health records and information officers, emergency care professionals and community health workers. The discussions have been very fruitful, with outputs such as the current effort by emergency medical technicians to form a professional association.

KHF identifies gaps within the public health sector and advocates for improvement or restructuring,including through Public Private Partnerships (PPP). For example, there is a problem in recruitment and retention HRH in the public sector. The committee will be holding a workshop that will address neglected specialized cadres, recruitment and retention strategies, Innovations (Corvus Health) and setting up objectives and terms of reference for the committee. It was agreed that in the workshop, there will be a representative from MoH HR unit.

Mr. Kennedy Auma and Dr. Joyce Sitonik were re-elected as the committee chairperson and vice chairperson respectively.This was the first meeting under the directorship of the elected KHF vice chair Dr.Elizabeth Wala and Ms.Faith Muigai.

 

 

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