Kenyatta calls for increased private sector participation in the provision of health services in Africa


President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday called for increased partnerships between national governments and the private sector in the provision of health services in Africa.

While  acknowledging that health is critical to the continent’s economic  growth,  Kenyatta said the partnerships between the private sector and  national governments should be determined by specific country  initiatives and not by loose arrangements where local efforts are not  put into consideration.

“Plug  into existing country initiatives because if you do that then you will  benefit from government commitments,” Kenyatta urged the private sector  and development partners.

He  commended the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and  other donors who have plugged into the Kenyan health system and are  actively working to manage the HIV/AIDS scourge. 

“They  have ensured that virtually every affected Kenyan today has access to  anti-retroviral drugs. That is because of the partnerships that we have  cultivated,” the President said.

 Kenyatta  was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, when he addressed an Africa  leadership meeting on increasing commitments for health and accelerating  the path towards Universal Healthcare Coverage.

“To  me, the critical thing is partnership. The critical thing is working  with national governments to ensure that we achieve this objective of  Universal Healthcare for all,” Kenyatta said in a statement issued in  Nairobi.

He urged African  governments to strive to end the vicious political cycles and embrace  long term commitments that give the private sector the confidence and  trust to invest in the health sector.

“We  will not be able to achieve our social economic agenda if we do not  invest in health. It is critical that as governments, we pool our  resources together, working in partnerships with development partners as  well as the private sector to ensure that we achieve this ultimate  objective of universal health coverage for all,” the President said.

He  also expressed the need for African countries to come up with policies  that support private sector investment in the health sector.

At  the meeting that was chaired by the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame and  attended by business leaders and global health organizations, President  Kenyatta outlined Kenya’s progress towards achievement of UHC.

The  President said his government has partnered well with the private  sector to deliver modern, state-of-the-art medical equipment to counties  through a cost-effective and innovative Managed Equipment Service (MES)  programme. 

During the meeting, leaders made pledges to scale up interventions in the fight against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. 

In  their call to action, the leaders proposed that African ministers of  health should be meeting frequently to discuss the health situation in  the continent and report to the African Union Heads of State and  Government summit.


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