, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The two ministries in charge of health matters in Kenya are short of Sh123.6 billion to implement an ambitious joint five-year plan that spells out key priorities in the health sector.
The plan to be jointly executed by the Ministry of Medical Services and that of Public Health was estimated to cost Sh195 billion but the ministries only have Sh71.4 billion available.
Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong’o said on Thursday that the current food crisis had made the situation worse because available funds were being channelled towards provision of relief food.
“I wouldn’t like to be pessimistic. Optimism and I were born twins; we will be able to overcome the crisis in the not-so-distant future,” Professor Nyong’o said.
“And provided we have good plans, commitment by our health workers and people who make policy, we can easily make very good use of the scarce resources we have,” he added.
Director of Public Health Dr Shahnaaz Shariff said the Ministries may have to cut down on costs to make it possible to implement the plan.
“The financial gap is basically on three major things; drugs, infrastructure including equipment and repair and human resources,” Dr Shariff said.
He said there was also a possibility of asking for more money from development partners.
Dr Shariff defended the formulation of the plan at a time when there was limited funds saying it would be used to source for money from donors and the Treasury.
“You plan and come up with strategic interventions and then see what your budget is. I cannot say I only have Sh20 million and I will only do things worth that much because a plan is used as a resource mobilisation tool,” he said.
The 2009-2014 strategic plan aims to support informed decision making by making quality data which help health workers at all levels of the health system in planning and managing the health services, monitoring disease trends and control epidemics while providing periodic evaluation towards agreed targets.