Health Committee

Background (Role of the committee)

Health Committee considers all matters relating to health sector at the Council of Governors. It looks at the institutional structures and related laws, frameworks, policies and programmes on health. The committee’s mandate is to:

  • Develop a framework to guide and assist County Governments in the establishment of institutional structures for the management of health;
  • Coordinate intra and inter agency and governmental consultations on health sector issues, including existing and evolving health policies, legislation, regulations and programmes;
  • Coordinate and harmonize CoG views and perspectives on health matters;
  • Create forums for sharing of emerging issues and best practices, including modalities for prioritization and promotion of health an instrument for socio-economic growth;
  • Provide a platform to share ideas on how the lessons from past health challenges can inform future proactive health management strategies and solutions;
  • Provide a platform for review and mainstreaming of on-going health programmes, within respective County Integrated Development Plans (CIDPs);
  • Provide a forum for harmonization of planned regional and nationwide health interventions by various stakeholders, including ideas of how Counties can respond to specific health needs;
  • Providing a framework for the review and mainstreaming development partners engagement and support to County Governments on health management issues;
  • Coordinate County research and analytical studies on key areas of health issues. Provide response to need for researched papers for national and international fora on County health service delivery.

Legal Framework

The primary source of legislation of the Health Committee's activities is the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The other key sources of legislation include:

  • The Health Act 2017
  • Public Health Act, Cap 242
  • Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act Cap 253
  • National Hospital Insurance Fund Act, 2013
  • Kenya Medical Supplies Agency Act, 2013


Approach to undertaking Committee’s business

The committee functions through: -
A multipronged approach at national and international level to realize optimal health service delivery in the backdrop of a devolved system of governance. The guiding objective is the realization of Sustainable Development Goal number three (3)

Opportunities that the Committee Offers

The committee offers a platform for peer consultation, sharing of best practices, experience, and learning through capacity building opportunities (trainings, workshops and seminars) for Counties. This promotes peer exchange for Governors, Deputy Governors, County Executive Committee Members, Chief Officer and Directors.

The committee develops and maintains a variety of resources on health care issues including: -
Committee prepares briefs, press statements and memoranda among other documents that provide analysis of state policies, issues, and trends

The Committee has collected information and data from County Governments on the successes made after devolution in the sector. The Committee holds sectoral forums with CECs, Chief Officers and Directors in Charge of Health to share on matters related to the sector. The committee attends and actively participates in the quarterly Intergovernmental Forums for Health that bring together CECs and the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health

Impact/Breakthroughs/Key Achievements

The Health and Biotechnology committee has enabled the sharing of best practices on funds flow and access to health care.
The Committee has also negotiated major health projects and ensured the implementation arrangements are in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010


Success at County Level

a) Health is a devolved function and County Governments have played a critical role in health care transformation by leading innovative efforts to improve the quality of health care while reducing its cost. Health care is the single largest component of our budgets, accounting for nearly a quarter of the total. County Governments have continued to allocate an appreciable average of 21% of the budget to health services. In the last three (3) financial years a total of KES 200 billion out of the KES 954 billion allocated to Counties, was allocated to this sector.  

b) In 2012, there were 874 doctors and 6620 nurses in the entire Country. Currently, there are 4,080 doctors working at County facilities and 557 doctors at national referral facilities making a growing total of 4,637 doctors. In 2012, there were only 3,757 nurses. Currently, the number of nurses at County facilities stands at 24,373 while those at national referral facilities are 1,224 making a total of 25,597 nurses. Though the distribution of health care workers across the country has not attained global standards, the current status is an improvement from the previous era when health was a function of the central government.

c) The number of skilled birth deliveries in health facilities has risen from 43% in 2013 to an impressive 61% by the year 2014. The infant mortality rate per 1000 live births has dropped from 2010 to 2015 as follows: 2010 - 42.4, 2011 - 40.3, 2012 - 39.2, 2013 - 38, 2014 - 36.6 and 2015 - 35.5. This steady improvement can be attributed to improved access and quality of healthcare coupled with deliberate County interventions on maternal and child health. Areas that were previously referred to as marginalized have experienced a transformation in the provision of health services and now offer specialized care including surgeries. Wajir County had the first cesarean delivery at Habaswein Hospital in July 2016. Similarly, Mandera County had its first cesarean delivery at Takaba Hospital in 2014.

d) Through activities championed by the Health Committee, there has been a tremendous improvement in the availability of drugs and the procurement of modern diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. In turn, more Kenyans have been able to access quality and affordable healthcare. Citizens can now access specialized services such as dialysis and cancer treatment at County facilities thereby easing the burden at national referral facilities.

e) The number of fully functional health facilities across the country has risen from 8,466 in the year 2012 to the current 10,032.


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Published: October 22, 2020
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