Monday, 02 September 2019 09:51

Partnering for Universal Health Coverage

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County Governments are a major stakeholder of the Health sector, health being a devolved function in Kenya. The just concluded Kenya Health Forum, an annual event that brings together all stakeholders in the health sector, was an opportune forum for stakeholders in the sector to discuss the performance of the sector in the country.
Under the theme ‘Partnering for UHC: Delivering affordable quality healthcare for all,’ the two-day forum brought together the National and County governments, development partners, private sectors and other non-state actors to discuss how Kenya can deliver affordable quality health care and achieve UHC.
In addition to the universal health coverage goal commitment by President Uhuru Kenyatta which seeks to provide affordable health care for all, County Governments also demonstrate commitment to improving health of the people of Kenya especially through the devolution space and the paradigm shift that this dispensation brought to the health sector.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairman, Council of Governors, H.E. James Ongwae reiterated the efforts by County Governments to expand the diversity of services being provided. “We have focused on strengthening all the building blocks of the health systems and through partnerships, expanding the diversity of the health services provided in order to be responsive to the population needs and emerging diseases”, said the Human resources and labour relations committee Chairman.
Governor Ongwae added that Counties have focused on strengthening all the building blocks of the health systems and through partnerships, expanding the diversity of the health services provided in order to be responsive to the population needs and emerging diseases as well as incrementally invested in strengthening primary health care and revamping community health services through legislation and allocation of the necessary resources.
The forum break away panel discussions were structured in 6 thematic areas namely; Health financing, Quality of Care, Health Data, Research and Information use, Health Commodities and Technology, Human Resources for Health, Leadership, Governance and Partnerships which resulted into a number of key resolutions on issues in health service delivery including; Increasing health worker availability and accessibility from and in underserved populations; implementation of the existing ‘Guideline on Cross sharing of Specialists in the Health Sector’ across the 47 counties; accelerating dialogue on the need to establish a Health Services Commission, providing incentives for retention and equitable deployment, increase county funding to PHC including Community Health Services, among other key recommendations.
“The constitutional architecture of our country demands of us to cultivate and nurture formidable cooperation and partnership between two levels of Government. Both national and county governments have defined roles that are critical and symbiotic in the delivery of health services. For Universal Health Coverage to succeed in Kenya, we must make investments in all health building blocks. Key amongst them Human Resources and Health products and technologies.” said Health Cabinet Secretary Mrs Sicily Kariuki.
The second day of the forum focused on recapping the proposed actions from day one's discussions which fed into the event's action plan which consisted of a set of priority actions identified under each of the key thematic areas. The proposed actions are to be presented to top leadership levels for consideration.

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