Realigning Non Communicable Diseases agenda for Universal Health Coverage

 Naivasha, KENYA, 19 March 2018 – The Ministry of Health stakeholders are meeting to brainstorm on how to accelerate progress on prevention and control of Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and explore strategies for mainstreaming the NCDs agenda into Kenya’s broader plans towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Sicily Kariuki opened the forum today in Naivasha and noted that although progress has been made towards addressing NCDs in Kenya, a lot more still needs to be done as NCDs still account for over 50% of hospital admissions and over 55% of deaths.

Likewise, the CS noted that 25% of the population is neither on treatment or unknowingly living with high blood pressure and other heart diseases. The achievement of UHC is among the Big Four Agenda that the Government has prioritized to lead the transformation of the development in the country by 2022.

The CS revealed that the Ministry of Health has developed the NCD prevention and control strategic plan (2015- 2020), the Cancer Prevention and Control Strategy (2017-2022), treatment guidelines for cancer and cardiovascular diseases as key strategic documents to guide the fight against NCDs in the country.

She observed that the Ministry has also done well in monitoring and evaluation of work on NCDs in the country through the implementation of the First National Survey on NCD Risk Factors (STEPs survey) in 2015.

She noted that the Ministry has also spearheaded coordination and partnerships in the NCD space which has resulted in an inter-agency coordinating committee dedicated to NCDs and partnerships that have enhanced service delivery for NCDs.

“The Health Hearts Initiative and the Changing Diabetes in Children Initiative, for instance, have screened over 100,000 people for hypertension and enrolled over 1,500 children to receive insulin respectively,” she noted.

“We need to do more, do better and move faster as NCDs contribute to a large and rapidly growing proportion of the cost of healthcare. Unless we do more and make concerted efforts towards preventing and affordably treating NCDs, the attainment of UHC is unlikely to be feasible,” she stressed.

The CS also launched the integrated Delivery of Care for NCDs Kenya Country Initiative; a guideline that adopts a multi-sectoral approach towards combating NCDs that will be piloted in Trans-Nzoia,Uasin Gishu and Busia Counties in the next three years.

She commended the IFPMA, the Access Accelerated fraternity and the World Bank Group for facilitating the workshop and continued support.