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Government Committed To Strengthening the Health Sector

The Government has reiterated its commitment in strengthening the health sector to ensure all Kenyans have access to all the health services they need.

Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary (PS) Mary Muthoni said all efforts geared towards transforming the health system aim at ensuring healthcare services are accessible, available and affordable to Kenyans from all walks of life.

She said through the new Social Health Insurance Bill that is among three others geared towards accelerating progress towards universal health coverage, Kenyans are set to access quality healthcare as envisioned by the Kenya Kwanza Government.

Speaking in Embu on Saturday where she was the chief guest during the launch of CDF-funded NHIF Program for Manyatta Constituency residents led by area MP Gitonga Mukunji, PS Muthoni said they were assessing all the health facilities in the country in preparation for the rollout of the new scheme.

“This will help us equip our facilities in ensuring everyone who will be enrolled in the scheme can be treated anywhere in the country and in any facility be it private, public or faith-based,” she said.

She said they also want to ensure all facilities are well equipped in terms of equipment and human resource, which will be made possible through the Facility Improvement Financing Bill.

“We want to establish which facilities need equipping and the government is committed to ensure that is done to bring healthcare services close to the people,” she said.

She at the same time said, the Community Health Promoters (CHPs) program unveiled recently was instrumental in attainment of Universal Health Coverage by promoting preventive healthcare and community well-being.

The PS stressed that CHPs will play a big role in early diagnosis of ailments and referrals if need be at the grassroots to save lives and called on Kenyans to “receive them whenever they come knocking on their doors.”

She said CHPs who will act as a link between the community and health facilities had been trained to provide a wide range of health services including nutrition education, immunization, prenatal care and treatment of minor ailments.

The PS also welcomed the initiative by MP Mukunji of paying NHIF fees for the needy in the constituency.

Six hundred households have been enrolled in the program at a cost of Sh1.8 million including boda boda riders who have been involved in road accidents and people with chronic illnesses.

The MP said this will be an ongoing programme and his office will look into ways of allocating more funds to accommodate more individuals.

By Samuel Waititu

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