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Government to work with private sector to attain UHC

President William Ruto has said the Government will work with the private sector to actualise Universal Health Coverage.

He said the Government will support the pharmaceutical sector to strengthen its local manufacturing capacity.

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The Head of State noted that the Government will review the tax regime and the cost of doing business in the sector.

The Government, he went on, will prioritise the purchase of medical supplies from local manufacturers to support its growth.

“Local manufacturing is essential to Universal Health Coverage; lowering the cost of drugs and medical supplies will make it sustainable, affordable and make it work for everybody,” he said.

The President made the remarks on Wednesday in Syokimau, Machakos County, during the opening of MEDS Microbiology Laboratory.

The state-of-the-art facility will serve and advance healthcare in Kenya and the region.

Present were the Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha and Deputy Mission Director USAID Kenya/ East Africa Bert Ubamadu.

President Ruto said the Government has set aside 100 acres of the 500 acres in the Thika Special Economic Zone for pharmaceutical firms.

“I invite investors to exploit this space and develop manufacturing plants in Kenya,” he said.

The President observed that the Coronavirus pandemic was a wake-up call for countries to strengthen their local manufacturing abilities.

He cited instances where countries withheld medical supplies for their domestic use at the expense of those that rely on their industries.

“Having local manufacturing capacity is an insurance for us of supply even when we have difficult times globally,” he said.

The President said the government has taken a whole-of-the-society approach to service delivery to ensure health delivery is truly bottom-up.

“Our healthcare agenda must always be inclusive, in order to benefit from the unique advantages of diverse stakeholders,” he said.

He noted that the government has instituted the necessary structural and institutional reforms and availed adequate human resource capacity.

He said the government will also work with faith-based organisations to ensure all Kenyans have access to universal health.

The President said the government has adopted advanced technology to curb corruption and the wastage of healthcare resources.

This, he said, has transformed operations at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority.

He said technology will also enhance the transparency and accountability in the National Social Health Insurance Fund (NSHIF),  formerly The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).

“Use of technology will help us deal with fake claims and pilferage and make sure Kenya gets value for every penny that they contribute,” he said.

He called on institutions of higher learning to pursue industry-focused training solutions to bridge the existing knowledge gap.

Ms Nakhumicha said the MED facility is a World Health Organisation pre-qualified laboratory.

She said it will boost local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals as well as the country’s reputation in the sector.

“The lab that we launch today fills the gap in the quality of locally manufactured products in this country,” he said.

Mr Ubamadu said the facility will help protect Kenya from pathogens and future health threats.

Later, President Ruto inspected the progress of the 3,500 units Highrise Affordable Housing project in Kibera.

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