Nairobi: Poor management of health facilities and their resources is the major challenge facing the sector, Health Principal Secretary Dr Nicholas Muraguri has said.
Despite numerous commitments by the government to improve the delivery of this basic service to every Kenyan, many still receive sub-standard services or no services at all.
This causes an annual loss of over Sh5 billion on economic productive time spent by workers seeking better health care and treatment to mild diseases.
Averagely, over 40 and 18 percent of Kenyans are hindered by cost and distance respectively in access to health care.
Addressing health stakeholders at the Management Development Institute (MDI) 10th Anniversary held at Amref Kenya, Muraguri noted the need for public health systems to partner with Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) to refine the management of health resources.
"Public private partnerships are the paradigm shift that will transform the country's approach and delivery systems for health care training," said Muraguri.
In partnership with Amref and Johnson & Johnson, MDI annually trains over 100 managers in the health sector across the region in administrative and oversight skills aimed at spearheading prevention to minimize heavy costs on treatment.
According to the Water and Sanitation Program 2012, Kenya is losing Sh27 billion annually on preventable diseases caused by poor sanitation.
Muraguri noted that such training in leadership and management skills is critical for building strong health care systems at it “will bring forth better outcomes where there are limited resources."
However, the government has been on the spot over the critical state of the sector caused by poor infrastructure and lack of personnel which has further spread to the counties.
In July, national treasury failed to allocate monies for technical expertise for the ultra-modern x ray and ultrasound machines it was leasing from India, China, Italy, Netherlands and the United States in a Sh38 billion deal.
"Biggest challenge with Kenya is not lack of funds. Accountability is the major challenge as those mandated to streamline the sector do not have the skills leading to the massive economic losses," said Rene Kiamba from the region's Johnson & Johnson Corporate office.