Kenya Advances the Universal Health Coverage Agenda in the Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting in Geneva 

Geneva, Switzerland, May 212017 – The Cabinet Secretary for Health Dr. Cleopa Mailu today took part in the Annual Commonwealth Health Ministers meeting in Geneva. The theme of the meeting was sustainable financing of Universal Health coverage as an essential component of Global Security, including the reduction of all forms of Violence. The Cabinet secretary shared the Kenyan experience on Health systems reforms that are ongoing in the country to accelerate movement towards Universal Health coverage as a means of realising the right to Health as enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution. The ongoing health system reforms target improvements in availability of health infrastructure, training, health information management and equitable health financing systems, among others. 

In the recent past, the Ministry of Health has focused on: Modernizing the public health infrastructure to improve equity in availability and access to health care. This includes provision of modern hospital equipment for specialized medical care to address the emerging burden of non-communicable conditions;Innovations in improving health care provision,through use of customized static and mobile clinics, for populations in informal settlements and pastoralist communities; Rapid expansion of health training institutions to increase human resources for health. The Kenya Medical Training College, is expanding its coverage and enrollment to meet the country’s demand in skilled human resources for health. Kenya was applauded for progressively investing and increasing the number of campuses to train health workers, tremendously increasing the number of middle level health professionals trained per year.

The Cabinet Secretary reiterated the Government of Kenya’s commitment and deliberate focus on primary health care through increasing the Government budget for Health in support of elimination of user fees in public primary healthcare facilities, provision of free maternity services and health insurance subsidies for the vulnerable populationsIn conclusion, the Cabinet Secretary recognized the role of the private sector in support of the SDG partnership platform in strengthening primary healthcare in the country.