Accelerating progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Kenya

Tokyo, Japan 14 December 2017 – The Government has prioritized attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and anchored it in key legal and policy instruments to accelerate progress.

Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Cleopa Mailu said the government has integrated UHC as a goal in the national health strategies and entrenched it in the Constitution, the Health Policy goal and Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan theme.

The approach to UHC is centred on three key focus areas which are backed with a well elaborated service delivery model and Health Investment priorities, said Dr. Mailu today during the plenary session 4 on Accelerating UHC Progress-Learning from Country Experiences at the UHC forum in Tokyo, Japan.

“Our aim is to expand the number and scope of services available to the population, expand coverage of existing services, focusing on hard to reach populations and the vulnerable populations and reducing financial risk associated with use of essential services,” he said.

To improve the availability of services, Dr. Mailu said the Ministry of Health has defined a comprehensive essential package for health for all Kenyans. A range of new services have also been introduced under the National Hospital Insurance Fund Scheme.

The Ministry is also working with the private sector, to implement a multi-billion dollar leasing programme for medical equipment which has enabled the Government to enhance provision of specialized health services in 98 hospitals across the country namely dialysis, theatre, Intensive Care Units, MRI, advanced CT scans, ultrasound and mammography.

“The Beyond Zero Campaign, which is an initiative by Her Excellency the First Lady, Mrs. Margaret Kenyatta, has also leveraged on the resources of non-state actors to raise funds for provision of comprehensive mobile clinics to each county. So far, all counties have received mobile clinics and plans are underway to establish a highly super-specialized comprehensive mother and child hospital in Nairobi,” he noted.

The clinics have been instrumental in reaching nomadic populations and hard to reach areas to provide them with much needed programmes such as vaccinations, HIV/TB testing, health education and nutrition.

He added that the Government intends to gradually increase budgetary allocation from 7% in 2017 to 10% in 2022 as well as create a conducive environment of investments in the health sector. Currently, the public health sector accounts for 55 percent of all health services.

Plans are also underway to enlist 100,000 Community Health Volunteers to each recruit 20 households per CHV in efforts to boost recruitment of citizens under the national social health insurance scheme.