- Written by Peace Loise Mbae
The World Health Organisation Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this morning held talks with Health Cabinet Secretary for Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Cleopa Mailu at Afya House where they discussed the progress made by the country in Universal Health Coverage.
The CS briefed the Director-General on the Governments Health agenda including the implementation of Primary Health Care programme as a catalyst to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage. (UHC)
He said that the Government’s approach towards UHC is centered on three critical drivers which focus on expanding coverage, increasing access to services and developing sustainable financing models for health.
The DG was accompanied by the WHO country Representative Dr. Rudi Eggers. Also present were the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, Julius Korir, Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko and Secretary of Administration Francis Musyimi.
Dr. Mailu informed the DG that a strong political commitment over the past five years had seen an increase in domestic financing towards health sector reforms and enhanced provision of affordable and equitable access to essential health services for the entire population.
The CS noted that success had been recorded in health care services adding that “moving from the MDG to the SDG era, we have witnessed tremendous improvements in our health indicators like fertility rate, Contraceptive prevalence, Maternal Mortality ratio, Infant mortality rate, and Under-five mortality rate among others.”
The CS attributed the significant improvement recorded in healthcare service delivery to efforts at both the national and county government level.
In terms of healthcare financing and social health protection, Dr. Mailu highlighted strides made including the elimination of user fees at the primary healthcare level thereby increasing access to essential services, the free maternity programme, Health Insurance Subsidies Programme for the vulnerable and expansion of the benefit Packages for all NHIF members. Other initiatives taken by the Government include investment in Medical Equipment Leasing Programme (MES) to increase access to specialised health services across the country. Plans are underway to scale up the programme and establish 10 new referral hospitals.
The Director-General hailed the Government for prioritizing Universal Health Care and assured of his WHO’s support in Kenya’s efforts in this area. The Director-General underscored the critical role of primary health care in the delivery of UHC.