Six counties meeting under the auspices of North Rift Economic Block (NOREB) have finalised a draft intergovernmental document to guide the roll out of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in their respective counties.
While speaking at a meeting of the region’s leaders in Eldoret town on Thursday, the Turkana Governor, Josphat Nanok said that NOREB counties were ready to sign the draft intergovernmental agreement on UHC so as to fast track achievement of UHC in the region.
Governor Nanok also said that the County of Turkana has already developed a County Road map on UHC that is elaborate on costs and programmes for offering health products to the residents.
Nanok urged NOREB counties to look at the draft intergovernmental UHC document with an eye for improvement for the benefit of the residents of the region.
“In my county, the UHC roll out will be designed to be sensitive to the needs of the large groups of the nomadic-pastoralist populations living in Turkana,” said Nanok.
As a case example, Turkana has invested heavily on an innovative approach of delivery of health services based on community health strategy. As a means of ring-fencing the gains realised, the county has developed and operationalised a Community Health Strategy Act for posterity.
Nanok also said that a number of counties and delegations from the national government have visited Turkana for the purpose of drawing valuable lessons for implementation in their backyards
“For us to make significant progress in improving access to medical services to the household level, the robust CHS Act operational in Turkana County provides for incentives to the community health workers as well as exposing them to capacity building opportunities,” said Nanok.
On the subject of recruitment of interns, Governor Nanok asked the concerned authorities to ensure that the process is informed by the needs of the county. The Governor hinted that the needs can be best identified by engaging respective county public service boards from the onset of the process for guidance.
Nanok expressed optimism that the NOREB counties will strengthen the process of documenting all progress realised for future reference, sharing and learning.
The NOREB Chairman, Governor Jackson Mandago said that the main concern in respect to the shortcoming of the draft document was on the capacity of the national medical suppliers, KEMSA to meet the demands of hospitals and health facilities.
Mandago also noted concerns on community health volunteers and the problem of medical equipment needed in specific health facilities across the region will be addressed by the draft document.
According to the chair of the economic bloc, the concerns will not affect the signing of the agreement which will be undertaken in a few days’ time.
Mandago and other governors expressed optimism that the issues with the UHC draft document will be tackled, addressed and agreed upon with time.
The Governors,Prof. John Krop Lonyangapuo (West Pokot), Stephen Sang (Nandi) and Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), the Noreb Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Biwott, Mrs Evelyn Rotich Health Services CEC in Uasin Gishu as well Dr. Roberts Abok the Health Services Chief Officer of Turkana county were among leaders who attended the function.
By Peter Gitonga