, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Melinda Gates have agreed to work together to strengthen the delivery of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), one of the pillars of the President’s Big Four agenda.
During their first meeting held at State House, Friday, President Kenyatta and Melinda Gates – co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – spoke of a UHC plan with a focus on services that matter to women.
Their discussion included the consideration of technical assistance to the Government of Kenya and agreement to identify ways to support Kenya’s development of a sustainable and inclusive universal healthcare system.
This is Melinda Gates’ second trip to Kenya in two years, underscoring the importance of the country to the Gates Foundation’s work.
Over the last five years, the Foundation has spent over $400 million in Kenya on programmes to support agricultural development, financial inclusion, and women and children’s health, including family planning.
The deepened partnership between the Government and the Foundation will look to expand the foundation’s existing support of Kenya’s health system, which already includes some technical assistance to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
“My Government has prioritized the attainment of UHC as a key development goal. A healthy nation is key to shared prosperity. Our shared vision around the importance of women and girls underpins this commitment to partner with Melinda Gates and her Foundation to help accelerate progress. I welcome the opportunity to deepen this partnership,” said President Kenyatta.
Melinda Gates applauded the inclusion of health as a focus in President Kenyatta’s ambitious “Big Four” agenda, including the country’s delivery of free maternal health care.
“It’s wonderful to see the health of women and girls prioritized as part of Kenya’s broader development agenda. As a foundation, we have seen evidence that strong Primary Health Care services are the basis of a sustainable UHC system and we believe our discussion today will help set the path for us to grow our partnership with Kenya,” Melinda Gates said.
In addition to health, President Kenyatta and Melinda Gates also discussed agriculture and how it relates to the Big Four agenda that prioritises food security and nutrition.
She thanked President Kenyatta for his leadership in the sector, acknowledging his role as an agricultural development champion in Kenya and beyond.
They also reflected on how the Government and the Foundation could support tech start-ups.
Melinda Gates was in Kenya to launch ‘Pathways for Prosperity: A new Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development’ as well as visit partners in Kenya.