, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 17 – Kenya on Monday signed a Sh3.2billion loan with Japan that will go into the healthcare sector.
It was signed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Japan’s Ambassador to Kenya, Tatsushi Terada.
“The credit will provide general budget support specifically to the health sector with a view to promoting attainment of universal healthcare in the country. This will be achieved through expanding and strengthening essential health services at county hospitals in the country,” Rotich said.
The loan, which marks the 39th loan extended to the country by Japan, is the first of its kind by supporting the health sector.
According to the Japanese Government, the loan is in line with its active promotion of the universal health coverage.
“In this context, our support to achieve universal health coverage where all people, even those who were unable to enjoy satisfactory health care services due to financial reasons, enjoy the necessary services without suffering financial hardships,” Terada said.
The loan will therefore focus on four key areas which include free maternity services that will see financial assistance being provided throughout the country to improve access to health care for the mothers and children at all public health facilities.
It will also go into the health insurance subsidy program that will see 42,300 poor households enrolled into health insurance.
The health sector service fund result-based financing is also a beneficiary of the loan as it will support county health management teams for supervision, quality improvement and give them incentives to provide quality health services among others.
Finally, the loan will go into capacity development for the universal health coverage related activities which will support activities at national and county levels.
“These areas of support have been carefully determined with the consultations of your government and are in line with national strategic plans in the health sector, which are stipulated in Kenya Vision 2030,” added Terada.
This loan follows Japan’s recent funding that went towards Japan’s Non Project Grant Aid for provision of Japanese SME products, Mombasa Port Development Phase 2 Project and the Project for Medical Waste and Hazardous Appropriate Processing Plant.
“Our cooperation with Japan is currently anchored on the 5th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) Yokohama Action Plan. I am happy that Kenya has been honoured to be the first country in Africa to host the sixth TICAD in Nairobi during the second half of 2016,” Rotich concluded.