Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has officially opened the thematic Mashujaa Day celebrations week in Kericho County ahead of the Mashujaa day celebrations themed Universal Health coverage – Afya nyumbani.
The four-day exhibition and conference will culminate on Friday, October 20 during the Mashujaa Day celebrations which will end with the official launch of the UHC by President William Ruto.
The thematic week helps evaluate the milestones made in the health sector as well as deliberate possible interventions and innovations that can aid the health sector and ensure success in the government’s plan on Universal Health Coverage.
The tour of the county saw the deputy president visit a household in Cheborge to assess the effectiveness of the recently launched Universal Health promoters program, as well as track the relay of the information obtained by the CHP’s to different levels of Hospital as the government moves to digitise several programs.
“It is a great occasion to witness the potential of the Kericho County Smart Primary Health Care Network, which is envisioned to transform healthcare service delivery through digitisation of data. I congratulate Governor Mutai and his entire team in establishing this digital system. It will redefine how we work for our people,” he said.
The DP also launched the Smart Primary Care Network (PCN) for Universal Health Coverage which will ensure continuity of service from the community level for access to basic health care services up to level 4 facilities where specialized care is offered.
He said that integrating digital technology is one of the best strategies of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery and also commended the Community Health Promoters, who have been engaged for the assignment.
Statistics show that about 26pc of the more than 53 million people have some form of health insurance cover. The DP says the government is focused on ensuring healthcare becomes accessible and affordable.
“Quality healthcare is very expensive for most families. Serious health conditions are sinking families into abject poverty as many Kenyans cannot access healthcare insurance.
In fact, only about 26% of the more than 53 million people have some form of health insurance cover. When a serious medical condition strikes, poverty is inevitable for most families. Poverty strips off one’s dignity. This in turn slows development,” said DP Rigathi Gachagua.
“This is one of the reasons the Ruto Administration is investing in promoting preventive healthcare to the grassroots in collaboration with Counties. This is alongside the ongoing reforms in the National Health Insurance Fund to enhance access to quality healthcare as enshrined in our Constitution.”
He has called on counties to continue with the collaborative approach of ensuring government plans for the health sector is achieved.
He added, “We are closely working with Counties in establishing sustainable structures of promoting preventive health as envisioned under the Universal Health Coverage. In this regard, we allocated Ksh 141.2 billion to the Ministry of Health, with at least Ksh 18.4 billion going into UHC. We are determined to meet and surpass the minimum target of 15pc of the National Budget to the Health Sector as per the Abuja Declaration of 2001.”
The DP also issued a certificate to certify upgrading of Kericho County Referral Hospital from Level 4 to Level 5.
He also commissioned the oncology unit in the hospital that will aid in providing services like cancer screening to wananchi.
Screening has been seen to contribute to reducing mortality by between 25pc and 39pc over the last decade.