Ministry of Health launches new campaign dubbed “Catch UP” to increase access to health services

NAIROBI, Kenya, 19th October 2017 – The Ministry of Health and partners today launched a campaign dubbed “Catch Up” to increase access and utilization of essential package of health services in counties that are most impacted by ongoing health workers strike.

The catch-up campaign aims at reaching out to populations in eleven of Kenya’s most vulnerable counties that have remained unreached with critical health services such as routine immunization for children and antenatal care for pregnant women among others.

The campaign targets more than 300,000 women and children in the counties of Turkana, Lamu, Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Mandera, Garissa, Tana River, Samburu, West Pokot and Baringo where there are minimal alternatives to services offered by public health care workers.

“The cessation of provision of primary healthcare services occasioned by the ongoing strike cannot be allowed to continue without this stop gap measure being put in place to prevent communities from further suffering,” remarked theCabinet Secretary for Health, Dr. Cleopa Mailu during the launch of the campaign today at Afya House, in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross, UNICEF, WHO, the Council of Governors and other partners.

The CS said the campaign will ensure that most people are reached with the necessary health services that will include Immunization services, Nutrition screening and care services, Well child and sick child services, Adult outpatient services and referrals and Antenatal and postnatal services.

The Ministry he added will work through community units to identify and refer children who have missed immunization or who are sick to link them to health care in identified strategic points in the different counties.

“Volunteers will conduct door to door mobilization and community education and temporary Mobile health outposts will be established and used to target the most vulnerable populations with essential packages of health in the target counties,” he added.

The CS said through community mapping and needs assessment, integrated health outreaches will be used to provide targeted health services to communities in need.

He urged healthcare providers to re-engage and continue with the good work they have been doing to make the lives of Kenyans better.

The event was attended by the Principal Secretary for Health, Mr. Julius Korir, the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko, WHO Country Representative, Dr. Rudi Eggers, Kenya Red Cross, Secretary General Abbas Gullet, Council of Governors, UNFPA and UNICEF representatives among others.