United States government is to spend Sh. 6.6 billion (66 million dollars), in improving public health facilities and strengthening their capacities in four counties across the country.
The funds will be channeled through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), funded Afya Halisi project dubbed “Boresha Afya Ya Jamii.”
The project will support the Government of Kenya in accelerating the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths by strengthening the capacity of national, county and Sub-county leaders and systems.
Afya Halisi which will be rolled out in Kitui, Kisumu, Kakamega and Migori counties, aims to increase care-seeking and health-promoting behavior among communities and also growing Ministry of Health stewardship of key health program service delivery across the targeted public health facilities in the selected counties.
Launching the project at a ceremony held in Zombe in Kitui and attended by Governor Charity Ngilu and representatives from the other three counties Tuesday, a USAID Deputy Chief Officer, John Bernon said the project is aimed at allowing vulnerable populations, living in marginal areas to attain universal health services with specific bias towards women and children.
Bernon said Afya Halisi which is being implemented by a consortium of partners including Jhpiego, Population Services Kenya (PSK), and Save the Children will have helped the four counties to achieve an increased availability and use of quality health services for all citizens by the year 2022.
“Our aim is to do all we can to ensure a healthy start for all mothers and newborns. This calls for strong capacity within the health system and key actions that starts with birth spacing, before pregnancy and continues into postnatal care of mother, infant, child and adolescents,” says Ruth Odhiambo, Chief of Party for Afya Halisi.
In addition to maternal, newborn and child health services, Afya Halisi will also support in the delivery of quality reproductive health, family planning, nutrition, water and sanitation services and also focus on adolescent and young people’s sexual and reproductive health.
Speaking at the launch, Ngilu said the county’s universal health care plan programme is set to be operational in the next two months with assurance that her government will provide affordable medical services in all hospitals within the county.
By Kiamah Wamutitu