By Samuel Ouma
Kenya has embarked on the journey toward Universal Health Coverage, whose main objective is to improve access to equitable, high-quality essential health services.
Speaking on Monday, May 9, 2022, in Kisumu during the Non-communicable diseases stakeholders forum, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Rashid Aman, said UHC will ensure those seeking health services are not predisposed to financial hardship.
“Towards actualization of these UHC aspirations, the country has prioritized primary health care to improve access to services and reduce the cost of seeking care by reducing travel costs,” said Dr. Aman.
He noted that the ministry recently launched the National Primary Health Care Framework 2019-2023, the Community Health Policy 2020-2030, reviewed Community Health Strategy and Primary Care Networks Guidelines. These guidelines will reduce the cost of seeking health care.
Dr Aman added that the Government has embarked on significant reforms at National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to ensure financial risk protection. Furthermore, user fee at the primary care level was abolished to ensure cost is not a barrier to care at this level.
He stated that care for NCDs has traditionally been offered at higher levels of care, but the Government is working tirelessly to improve the situation.
“As a Ministry, we are turning the tide on this, with one of the key priorities of the NCD Strategic Plan being an integration of NCD care into Primary Health Care,” he said.
Non-Communicable Diseases are a growing public health threat, accounting for 39 per cent of deaths in Kenya. It is also projected that they will account for half of all mortality by 2030.