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Kenya hosts national health financing dialogue

Kenya made history Monday by hosting the National Health Financing Dialogue, becoming the first East African country and the third in Africa to organise this crucial event.

The dialogue aimed to address pressing issues of sustainable financing in the healthcare sector and devise effective implementation strategies.

During the opening of the national high-level dialogue on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, on behalf of President Ruto, said that the 32nd African Union (AU) meeting held by the heads of states in 2019 resolved to increase domestic sources for health through the Africa Leadership Meeting (ALM).

Mudavadi said that the government is committed to increasing domestic funding for health by allocating a significant portion of the national budget to healthcare provision through strengthening the tax systems to broaden the tax base and ensure that the tax laws are fair and inequitable.

He highlighted that the government is investing in the digitization of government systems that will promote job transparency, improve efficiency, and combat corruption.

“Through this, we can generate the necessary revenue to invest in healthcare infrastructure, procure essential medicines and equipment, and recruit skilled health care professionals,” the Prime Cabinet Secretary stressed.

Mudavadi said that focusing on primary healthcare strategies such as vaccination, health education, and early disease infection and treatment can reduce the burden of illnesses and, in turn, free up resources that can be redirected towards strengthening the health systems.

“It has been shown that for every dollar invested in primary care, the return on investment is Sixteen dollars,” said Mudavadi.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha emphasized the government’s commitment to placing the Kenyan healthcare system on a sustainable financing pathway.

She highlighted the significant increase in budgetary allocation to health in recent years, reflecting the government’s strong dedication to prioritizing healthcare.

“County governments also demonstrated their commitment by steadily increasing health budgets from 13.5 per cent to 28.2 per cent between 2013 and 2022,” noted Nakhumicha.

In attendance were dignitaries, including officers from the Ministry of Health, Principal Secretaries Kimtai Harry and Mary Muthoni, as well as the Chairperson of the Council of Governors (COG), Anne Waiguru, among others.

By Emma Jolly Wambui

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