UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE IN MAKUENI
There is precedent for moving Kenya towards Universal Healthcare Coverage. The Kenyan Constitution states that every Kenyan has a right to quality and affordable health care and recognizes the role of the government in removing barriers to access. This was recently affirmed in Sessional Paper No. 7 of 2012 on Universal Healthcare Coverage. The Government‘s commitment to providing Healthcare for all of its citizens is clearly moving in the right direction.
From researches conducted on Healthcare provision in Kenya, it has been pointed out that provision of Universal Health Care Coverage has its challenges such as; shortage of government budgetary resources, corruption, weak Health Systems, high poverty levels, reaching vulnerable people, selecting the right package of benefits, Integration of the informal sector and poor distribution of Human Resources for Health.
Makueni County held a two day conference on achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage from 4th to 5th April 2018 in Wote – Makueni.
The conference brought together different Health Sector Stake Holders to address this challenges and to strategize on a firm structure that will be implemented and adopted in all the counties towards achieving affordable and quality Healthcare for all Kenyans (President’s big four Agenda).
“Kenya Healthcare Systems needs to restrategize because the population is growing at high rate, this means that if the Healthcare systems and Human Resources for Health is not revisited and strengthened, Kenya may not be able to access Quality and affordable Healthcare.
He reiterated that the Government should strongly embrace Preventive (Immunization) Health care other than Curative Healthcare. He also emphasized that community Health Workers play a major role in Primary Health care especially in preventive care therefore, they should be recognized and strengthened while revisiting the Health Systems in Kenya.’’ Siddharth Chatterjee – United Nations Development Development Programme resident representative to Kenya.
Dr. Amit Thakker – Chairman Kenya Healthcare Federation reaffirmed that Strengthening Health Cadres especially Community Health Workers will be very key in achieving Universal Health Care. However, He said that the private sector is ready to work with the counties especially offering pro-bono services to support putting up structures that will see implementation of Universal Health Care.
Professor Kibutha Kibwana – Governer Makueni County, affirmed the attendees that change of mindset and being optimistic that with the right structures and support from the Health Stakeholders, UHC can be achieved. If this is implemented in Makueni County, then this can be adopted to other Counties and in the National Government.
Kenya Healthcare Federation(KHF) Leadership Team First Meeting with the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health
The Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) Leadership Team and Ministry of Health(MOH) had a courtesy call with the Cabinet Secretary of Health Mrs. Sicily Kariuki to plan for the upcoming Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF).
KHF and MOH officials briefed the CS on the past six MSF engagements and the progress achieved in the past years. The Health Bill 2016 that subsequently become an act in 2017 and is currently under implementation is one of the success cases where KHF has worked with the Ministry through the MSF. Taxation waiver on imported pharmaceutical raw materials, implementation on the Joint Inspection Checklist and discussions on VAT on medical devices are some of the industry healthcare matters discussed within MSF in 2017.
This year the private sector plans to work with the Ministry to accelerate healthcare access by encouraging local manufacturing of medicines with commitment towards quality and affordability, Promoting the concept of UHC in partnership with county governments towards achieving affordable healthcare for all in keeping with the Big 4 agenda, interface with the government on problem solving opportunities within the ICT sector through data sharing and interoperability, Educating the counties on PPP acts guided under the national PPP framework is also key as KHF is now working closely and directly with the county governments to achieve deepen affordable healthcare for all.
The Cabinet Secretary urged KHF on the need to invest more on health to deliver on UHC with pooled investments. She commended the private sector efficiency and innovation in delivering healthcare within satisfactory timelines and commits the governments’ interest to work with private sector and achieve quality and accessible healthcare. She advised KHF to continue working with the Governor of Isiolo County Hon Mohamed Kuti as he is a very resourceful towards demand driven engagements.
There are great investments opportunities in the healthcare sector in Kenya from all over the world that needs clear definition of partnership structures with value add towards achieving UHC. KHF and MOH will hence work together and evaluate tangible impact in unlocking these opportunities.