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State releases Ksh 3B to Community Health Promoters

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua

The government on Friday released Ksh 3 billion to pay Community Health Promoters (CHP) across the country as millions of Kenyans continue to benefit from the landmark programme.

So far, over 13 million Kenyans have directly benefitted from the healthcare services offered by the CHPs who are based in every village in the country.

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Speaking at the Official Residence in Karen, Nairobi during the release of the funds, Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua praised the 107,000 CHPs saying they were unsung heroes leading the implementation of a programme key in achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“You play a critical role in the success of UHC and you are a critical pillar in this intervention of primary health care. You are the unsung heros having worked for many years without any administration thinking about you and your welfare. This (Kenya Kwanza administration) is the first administration to address your plight and recognize you. We appreciate your sacrifice and commitment to help the people,” the DP said.

President William Ruto’s administration is the first one since independence to pay community health workers for the critical role they play in promotive and preventive healthcare provision.

“The Community Health Promoters are part and parcel of Kenyans communities, they are everywhere, offering critical services,” the DP told the Community Health Promoters at the launch of the payments and disbursement.

Accompanied by Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, Chairperson of National Assembly Committee on Health, Dr Robert Pukose, top government officials and partners, the Deputy President said the stipend is intended to motivate the CHPs and recognise their vital role in the public health sector.

Chuka-Igambang’ombe MP Patrick Munene, who is also the vice-chairperson Parliamentary Committee on Health, and Nandi Woman Representative Cynthia Muge were also present.

Each of the health promoters has also already been provided with a smart phone and special kits with Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa saying the gadgets have an electronic community health information system (E-CHS) and is being used for collecting health data from communities.

“Safaricom is committed to support the Ministry of Health and the whole programme,” said Mr Ndegwa.

Mr Gachagua stated that the National Government will be contributing 50 per cent of the stipend while the other half will be paid by county governments.

“We are calling on Counties to fulfil and sustain their side of the bargain. Indeed, quality healthcare is not a favour to the People. It is a Constitutional Right, which we must fulfill together. Kenyans care about quality, efficiency and effective service delivery,” said the DP.

He added that since the community health promoters were hired and deployed to the villages four months ago (October 2023), they have reached 2.7 million households.

“In under four months, we have touched the lives of at least 13.5 Million Kenyans- a 25 per cent reach in personalised health services,” he stated.

The Deputy President added that CHPs programme will go a long way in stopping Kenyans from sinking into poverty because of hospital bills.

Dr Abdourahmane Diallo, the World Health Organisation Representative, praised the Kenya government for hiring the community health promoters and paying them stipends. He said the payment will assure sustainability of the programme.

The community health promoters are trained to provide health services, including prenatal care, immunisation, nutrition education and treatment of common illnesses.

At the same time, the Deputy President stated that resulting from sound policies by the Kenya Kwanza administration like the roll out of subsidized fertilizer, the government has succeeded in bringing down the cost of maize flour to a low of Ksh 139 per 2kg packet down from Sh230 in 2022.

“President Ruto found a debt of Ksh 9 trillion. But all the national debts are on course and the government has met its obligations to lenders. Planning stage is over and 2024 is the year to start feeling positive effects of good economic planning and management. You will start appreciating the good effects of good planning,” he stated.

On the performance of the Kenya Shilling in the forex exchange market, the DP said the local currency had gained its stability against the US dollar because of President Ruto’s good management.

“Those hoarding dollars should release the currency as they stand to lose a lot. The shilling is gaining stability,” he said.

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