NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – The National Agency for the Campaign against Drugs (NACADA) has been allocated Sh1 billion to fully enforce provisions of the Alcohol Control Act commonly known as the Mututho law.
Finance Minister Njeru Githae said on Thursday that it was due to a realisation that there was an increase in drug and alcohol abuse especially among the youth.
He said if no action was taken, the menace could derail development and realisation of Vision 2030.
“But let me also remind Kenyans that the fight against drugs and alcohol abuse starts at home with parents engaging constructively with their children. Parents are therefore part and parcel of this effort. If we all put our efforts and energy in this endeavour, I expect to see significant reduction in this menace going forward,” Githae said in his budget statement.
He said it was time to confront with resolve, the economic and social challenges brought about by drug and alcohol abuse.
The Alcohol Control Act authored by Naivasha MP John Mututho came into force in 2010.
At the same time, the health sector received a 16.9percent budgetary increment for the 2012/2013 financial year.
This means that both the ministries of Medical Services and Public health will receive Sh85 billion up from Sh72.7 billion in the ending financial year.
Githae said the additional resources would facilitate employment of 5,200 health workers, implementation of the second phase for allowances of health workers, construction of health centres and hospitals, eradication of preventable diseases at constituency level and purchase of essential medical supplies.
“We have given priority to scaling up the implementation of interventions aimed at enhancing the equitability of access to public health and sanitation services. Such measures will include improving immunisation coverage for children, ensuring that most deliveries are conducted under the care of skilled health attendants and reducing morbidity and mortality from Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other non-communicable diseases,” the minister said.
However, despite the increment, the allocation represents only six percent of the Sh1.4 trillion budget, which is way below the 15 percent of the national budget agreed upon by African leaders in Abuja in 2001.
On hospitals detaining patients for non- payment of requisite charges, Githae said the Treasury and the ministries of health would soon engage key public hospitals with records of such experiences to develop appropriate guidelines on how to cushion the very poor families by settling such costs.
“The implementation of this initiative will not only assure compliance with the requirement of our constitution but will also relieve poor families of the agony of such detention,” he said.