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Senate Committee roots for increased resources for counties to facilitate UHC

The Senate committee for health is proposing more resources to counties to facilitate promotion and preventive healthcare.

The committee’s chairperson Jackson Mandago,  said the national and county governments will partner to ensure primary health care is given priority and promoted to curb many challenges facing the health sector in the country in terms of curative healthcare.

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The senator noted for the country to realize universal healthcare, more resources are needed to be channeled to support primary healthcare saying as the senate they are working to ensure counties get increased budgetary allocation to fund promotional and preventive health care.

He revealed through partnership between the two levels of governments, close to 100, 000 community health volunteers will be recruited and trained to help promote preventive healthcare at villages.

Some decades ago, the Uasin Gishu senator observed that primary healthcare was prioritised and properly done saying the current situation where people have been greatly affected especially by noncommunicable diseases is because priority is currently on curative instead of preventive.

“Preventive healthcare was abandoned long time and the moment we shifted and concentrated in curative healthcare, is the moment we started moving to the current health situation where there is need for expensive drugs, equipment and many expenses in the health sector,” said Mandago when he led members of his committee to inspect three health facilities in Murang’a county.

He added that starting from next financial year, money has been allocated to equip level -1 and level 2 health facilities to enable them to promote primary healthcare.

“Level two and one medical facilities don’t contrate much on curative since they are supposed to major on primary healthcare and that’s why beginning the next financial year more resources will be channeled to the facilities to boost preventive health care,” he added.

He divulged the government is yet to complete a framework in implementation of universal healthcare saying the senate will have a sitting with the Ministry of Health, NHIF and council of governors so as to work on a seamless framework for full implementation of universal health coverage.

“Last administration attempted to pilot universal health care in some counties and there were lessons learnt and in the next financial year, the government will improve on the shortfalls learnt in piloting the scheme,” he added.

In Murang’a, the senators who visited on invitation of the county senator, Joe Nyutu, called for recruitment of more health personnel to improve services delivery.

In Muriranja’s level 3 hospital, members of the committee expressed concern on shortage of nurses after they revealed the facility has a shortage of 26 nurses.

“Muriranjas is one of the oldest health facilities in the country but this hospital needs a facelift. There is need for more medical personnel, new equipment, better facilities especially in wards as we also ask the local community to fully utilize the facility,” noted the chairperson of the committee.

Senator Nyutu had petitioned the senate after numerous complaints levelled against the health sector in Murang’a county.

Nyutu after the visit said they had established that some improvements are needed to ensure residents get better services from local health facilities.

“The laboratories lack reagents, wards need better beddings and most important is employment of qualified medical practitioners since without health workers, the hospital buildings are of no use,” averred Nyutu.


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