The Government has secured at least Sh12 billion ($120 million) annually as additional funding to support the country’s health sector.
The significant investment in domestic and external resources will go towards primary healthcare, free maternity programme, medical equipment leasing service and health insurance subsidies for the poor, older persons and people living with severe disabilities.
The Government’s mobilization efforts bore fruits after Health Cabinet secretary, Cleopa Mailu delivered Kenya’s 2030 health agenda to the 70th World Health Assembly in Geneva.
While outlining the agenda, Mailu highlighted the progress made in improving the health status and socio-economic wellbeing of Kenyans as demonstrated by the gradual improvement in life expectancy at birth from a low of about 52 years in 2000 to the current 62 years.
Similarly, Mailu said the Ministry, in partnership with United Nations and private sector launched Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) platform to mobilize additional 2billion US dollars from the private sector to drive universal health coverage by strengthening primary healthcare services.
He raised concern that the country is contending with a huge burden of communicable diseases and a growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers as well as injuries and domestic violence against women and children.
“As the country moves towards the attainment of universal health coverage, the Ministry of Health will intensify efforts to address the health needs of the poor, inequities in health, health promotion and pay greater attention on quality of health care services,” said Mailu, in a statement.
The Kenyan also participated in a side event on the International Health Regulations and Impact of the Global health security agenda.
It was also a meeting that saw World Health Organization (WHO) Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan give her final address, in that capacity, where she called upon the health assembly to make reducing inequalities a guiding ethical principle.
“WHO stands for fairness. Countries should work to improve collection of health data and make health strategies more accountable. Protecting scientific evidence should form the bedrock policy…Vaccine refusal is one of the reasons that the tremendous potential of vaccines is not yet fully utilized,” said Chan.
She stressed the need for continued innovation, citing research partnership between WHO and other partners to produce effective and affordable meningitis A vaccine to transform the lives of million of people in Africa.
The WHO member states elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General to replace Dr Chan.?Dr Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on July 1, 2017.
Prior to his election as WHO’s next Director-General, Dr Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia from 2012-2016 and as Minister of Health, from 2005-2012. He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.