Kenya made huge strides in affordable healthcare - First Lady

APA-Nairobi (Kenya)

Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Thursday commended the progress being made by the government and its partners to ensure that Kenyans have access to affordable healthcare services.

She said the reduction and in some cases total removal of fees in public health facilities, the ongoing infrastructural expansion, the government-sponsored National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the free maternity cover and other interventions are all aimed at protecting Kenyans especially women, children and vulnerable communities.

The First Lady spoke in Nairobi when she presided over the launch of the Lancet Global Health Commission on High Quality Health Systems Report in the Sustainable Development Goals Era. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is a member of the commission.

She expressed concern over the disparities in the quality of healthcare services offered between public and private facilities and across regions saying the huge differences present a major challenge facing the country’s healthcare system.

She said there is need to focus attention on quality healthcare that all Kenyans can trust irrespective of the provider and their regions.

“We must begin to pay closer attention to quality care, and build resilient health systems that Kenyan’s can trust and have confidence, irrespective of the facility they visit,” she said.

She said poor health systems pose an impediment to the growing demands and expectations by Kenyans on their health needs.

According to the Lancet report, 52,000 deaths occurred in Kenya in 2016 due to poor quality health systems. 

Out of these deaths, 32,000 were attributed to lack of access to healthcare while the rest were occasioned by poor quality care.

The First Lady said recommendations by the the Lancet report are bound to accelerate the gains made by Kenya in achieving health related SDG 2030 targets because they emphasize on quality health services as  a “big win” strategy.

“We as a country have taken some steps towards enshrining the principle of patient-centred service in our healthcare systems through the Kenya Quality Models for Health guidelines developed in 2012, alongside the Joint Health Inspection Report both developed by the Ministry of Health,” she said.

Besides enhanced governance and re-organization of health services, the Lancet report calls for a people-centred modernized curricula for pre-service and in-service training of healthcare providers, system-wide actions and a system that listens and cares more.

 The report also calls for a system that is more concerned with excellence and is responsive to the needs of the people it serves.


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