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CS Kariuki says Universal Health Coverage well on course

Health CS Sicily Kariuki during the Press Club organised by the Kenya Editors Guild on November 6, 2019. /SAM WANJOHI.

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 6 – The government has assured that the Universal Health Coverage project, a key pillar of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 agenda, is on course.

According to Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, all measures have been put in place for the full implementation of the program that is being piloted in four counties of Machakos, Isiolo, Nyeri and Kisumu.

“We are on course and the project will be implemented fully,” she told Editors at a monthly Press Club in Nairobi where she was invited to shed light on the project’s implementation.

“Every part of this country will benefit,” she said, “we have already made substantial progress in the pilot counties.”

Kariuki said she is proud of achievements made so far, in the past 11 months saying about 50 percent of the population seek medication in public health facilities.

So far, she said, there has been an increase in outpatient and inpatient visits from 20 to 50 per cent.

“This means that poor and vulnerable groups who were previously unable to access health services are now able to,” she said, “Health care is now affordable to them.”

From all the four pilot counties, she said, more Kenyans have accessed health services.

“Premised on a primary health care approach, the pilot exercise has reaffirmed what global evidence has always alluded to; investments in primary health care are able to meet at least 80 per cent of the burden of diseases in our communities.”

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In the end, she said, the project is aimed at improving the quality of healthcare in the country while making it affordable to all.

The CS revealed that a number of projects are currently underway to ensure all Kenyans benefit from Universal Health coverage.

“Our focus will be on primary healthcare; progressively we shall address gaps in Huduma Resources for health, ensuring that there is availability of skilled and qualified staff in healthcare facilities,” she said.

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