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Outgoing CS for Health Sicily Kariuki signed an Intergovernmental participation in January 2020 agreement (IPA) with four more Governors to commission the scale up of UHC in their respective counties.

During the signing of the agreement the CS announced that in order to progressively implement UHC, the National Government will this financial year 2019/20 invest KES 41.9 billion in key strategic areas informed by lessons learnt from the pilot and existing health system gaps in Human Resource for health, Commodities, Primary Health Care services, Community Health services and service delivery to supplement County investments.

“This investment is expected to significantly increase in subsequent financial years,” she noted after signing the IPA with Governors from the Counties of Elgeyo Marakwet, Narok, Kaijido and Kiambu She emphasized that the negotiated county specific IPA spells out roles of both levels of Government and details of the prioritized investment areas, in line with the Constitution of Kenya and the Intergovernmental Relations Act 2012.

Under the IPA key areas have been prioritized for investment in the scale up of UHC nationally based on the lessons learnt in the UHC pilot exercise. They include progressive move towards increasing the human resource for health to enhance access to health services.

“The two levels of Government have committed to recruit additional skilled human resources which includes engagement of the interns through the Youth Empowerment Program,” she revealed. Under the IPA, the Counties are also required to allocate a minimum of 30% of the respective county budget to health and progressively increase it. The National Government is also committed to supplement county allocations for the supply of essential medicines and medical supplies including laboratory commodities to be made available to public health facilities in Kenya through the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.

The CS also added that there will be Joint investments in community health services to ensure full implementation of the Community Health Strategy and ensure augmentation of Primary Health Care to bring health services closer to the community. The President, upon assumption of office in his second term, made a commitment to deliver affordable health care for all citizens by the year 2022.

So far the UHC Pilot Programme in Machakos, Kisumu, Isiolo and Nyeri has seen increased utilization in services ranging from 20% to 50% across the four counties. “This increase demonstrates to us that a significant number of Kenyans are not able to access health services due to financial constraints,” the CS said.

Last modified on Sunday, 08 March 2020

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