Nakhumicha unveils UHC reforms at World Health Assembly in Geneva

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha met with WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva, Switzerland, where she briefed him on Kenya's milestones towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC). [Ministry of Health]

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has outlined the country's bold steps towards achieving universal health coverage in an address to the 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva. 

Speaking on the International Day of Action for Women's Health, Nakhumicha stated that under President Ruto's "Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda," which underscores the government’s commitment and determination to realise the constitutional right to health by rapidly delivering a robust universal health coverage (UHC) system built on three pillars:

National Health Insurance Fund coverage for all Kenyans, upholding the principle of leaving no one behind. Employing and paying community health workers as an integral part of the primary healthcare system.

Prioritising the employment of 20,000 additional healthcare workers, including doctors, nurses, clinical officers, laboratory technologists and physiotherapists to meet WHO's recommended ratio of 23 health workers per 10,000 population.

“Since the last Assembly, Kenya has continued to implement the Bottom-up Economic Transformation Agenda, with Universal Health Coverage as a key pillar of our social-economic development,” she said.

Highlighting three new funds, the health CS said that the country’s effort is to provide equitable, people-centered, and quality health services, leaving no one behind.

"Kenya has established the Primary Health Care Fund, Social Health Insurance Fund and Emergency, Chronic and Critical Illness Fund to ensure financial risk protection for all Kenyans,” she said.

In a push to strengthen primary healthcare, the government has trained and deployed over 100,000 community health promoters to provide basic health services through a network of 10,000 Community Health Units across the country.

The health minister also emphasised Kenya's focus on reducing healthcare costs through increased local manufacturing of drugs, commodities and health technologies.

“Kenya has also prioritised local manufacturing of drugs, commodities and technologies to ensure commodity security, while reducing the cost of healthcare provision,” she said

The recently enacted Digital Health Act is expected to create efficiency gains through integrated health information systems.

Turning to global health security, the Cabinet Secretary reiterated Kenya's support for concluding negotiations on the Pandemic Accord and revisions to the International Health Regulations.

She has called for a "united front to deal with present and future health threats."

She has further thanked the World Health Organization (WHO) and international partners for providing support to Kenya following the recent devastating floods which claimed 228 lives, highlighting the growing impacts of climate change.

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