, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 1 – The United Nations Children’s Fund has pledged $150 million to support Kenya’s Universal Health Care programme through immunization and nutrition programs in the next four years.
The pledge was made when Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki met the UNICEF Country representative Werner Shultink on Wednesday to discuss how to improve healthcare in the country.
This step is seen as a major boost to the health sector, which is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four plan.
The government is focussing on providing access to quality health services for citizens of all classes by the year 2022 through having all citizens under health cover.
Early this year, the World Health Organisation pledged to support Kenya in making Universal Health Care coverage a reality.
WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom pledged to provide both technical and financial support towards the design of Kenya’s UHC benefit package and in the implementation of an effective community health strategy.
Thailand which has also successfully implemented Universal Health Care also declared a willingness to assist with both technical and training expertise to enable Kenya achieve UHC, during a visit to Thailand by Kariuki in May this year.
Universal Health Care in the country is beginning to take shape after CS Kariuki announced that a pilot for 100 per cent access to universal health care will be carried out in four counties.
The pilot projects will deal with finding out on the capacity of NHIF as well as improve infrastructure before rolling out to all counties.
A health insurance plan for three million secondary students is also underway as directed by President Kenyatta last year.
In the financial year 2018/2019 Universal Health Care has been allocated Sh44.6 billion.
In line with providing quality healthcare, the Kenya Government sourced 100 Cuban doctors who have since been deployed in the Counties.