The 5th Annual Devolution Conference – 2018 took place at Kakamega High School in Kakamega County from 23rd to 27th April 2018.The conference was hosted by the Council of Governors in partnership with the Ministry of Devolution and Arid & Semi-Arid Land(ASAL), the Senate, the County Assemblies Forum and other stakeholders .The conference brought together 6,000 people from different sectors such as; Health, Trade, Agriculture, Urban Planning & Infrastructure, Private Sector, National and County Government representatives and Members of the Public.
The Conference also focused on the president’s Big four Agenda where there were break out session to discuss more on Health, Trade, Agriculture and Urban Planning & Infrastructure where there was impactful contribution from the members of the Public, and Private Sector. All sessions were chaired by the Cabinet Secretaries (CS) or Principal Secretaries (PS) from the various Sectors. In attendance was the CS Ministry of Trade, Industries and Cooperatives Mr. Adan Mohamed, CS Ministry of Energy Mr. Charles Keter, PS Housing and Urban Development Mr. Charles Mwaura, the PS Crop Development, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe, PS Irrigation Fred Sigor, the PS ASAL Mr. Michael Powon, the PS Devolution Mr. Nelson Marwa, the Chief Administrative Secretary Ministry of Health Dr. Rashid Aman and the PS Health Mr. Peter Tum among many others.
There were plenary sessions which Portrayed strong political will, to ensure that the Big 4 National Agenda is achieved and to demonstrate the political commitment to Devolution. Deputy President, William Ruto emphasized the importance of the Big 4 Development Agenda which will transform Kenya. The Big 4 agenda will also help deepen Devolution and benefit all Kenyans. He reiterated that partnership will be very key in achieving the big 4 Agenda.
The President in his speech emphasized that Health is very key in the big four Agenda “We aim, by 2022, to give every family in the Republic access to Affordable Healthcare. Again, this is no small task and it will require a reimagining of the status quo. In defining this aspiration, I recognize that County governments are at the closest point of inflection when it comes to the provision of Health services at the grassroots.
There will be the hard work of financing this dream and restructuring all the institutions critical to its success. We will have to improve the quality of our facilities and manage the cost and quality of drugs; we will also have to train and recruit more Doctors and Nurses. Equally, all of us will have to work together to fit existing programmes into the new plan. Still, the work will be well worth it. A win in Healthcare today is a decisive win for generations to come.”
The PS for Health Peter Tum expressed an overarching vision of affordable Healthcare as captured in the Kenya Health Policy 2014 – 2030. He emphasized that the Ministry of Health has scaled up their interventions in order to be able to achieve the goals set out in the policy. Already, such interventions have led to reductions in maternal deaths. He briefly reminded the attendees that the Universal Healthcare Coverage pilot program would be held in 4 Counties, namely, Nyeri, Kisumu, Machakos and Isiolo. The lessons from this will determine the way forward in relation to the Universal Healthcare Coverage Agenda.
Prof. Khama Rogo from the World Bank stated that for interventions to be successful, the difference must be made at County Level. For instance, we should allow training for Human Resources for Health to be implemented at county level. He emphasised that Universal Healthcare Coverage will be achieved when we capitalise Devolution.
Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) represented the private Health sector through the attendance of Dr. Amit Thakker – Chairman, Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu – Director, Ms. Faith Muigai – Director, and Dr. Peter Kamunyo – Director.
There was a session on ‘Critical Enablers for Optimizing Health Sector Performance’ where Dr. Amit Thakker – Chairman – KHF was part of ‘’ panel in this session. In his remarks, he highlighted that the private sector contributes a lot in the Healthcare and will continue to advance the Health Sector in Financing; Innovations such as Telemedicine; Stakeholder engagement and Healthcare service delivery. Sanda Ojiambo from Safaricom added that the Big 4 agenda provides great opportunities for transforming Business.
There were booths where the attendees displayed their products and services. Moreover the KHF members who showcased the organization’s products and services at the booths were; Management Science for Health, Pharm Access Foundation, AMREF and Philips.
The Devolution Conference was well attended and gave all the relevant stakeholders a platform to engage on important issues in relation to key sectors. KHF was able to engage with Government officials and showcase the importance of private sector contributions to the Kenyan Health sector.
The Deputy President Willam Ruto closed the meeting by appreciating the attendees for their unified effort towards Devolution. “I would like to pay tribute to all of you for your devotion to the success of Devolution. Rest assured, you have a strong supporter of Devolution in this Administration. Let us all define our leadership through service, work, and delivery. The magic of Devolution, after all, is in service delivery. That is what Kenya needs; that is what our people need. By the time this leadership term is over, we will be celebrating 60 years of self-rule. We are the ones with the power to ensure that we have something to show for that time.”