Netherlands in Sh3 billion boost for Makueni Health Care programme

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The Netherlands government intends to fund the primary health programme at a cost of Sh3.18 billion for the next 12 years.

To this end, plans are at an advanced stage to sign an agreement between the Makueni County Government and the Netherlands Government under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) in an effort to promote primary health care in the county, the Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya Mr Maarten Brouwer has said.

“The partnership is important because it is trying to make a very high ambition on Universal Health Care (UHC) coverage a reality in this country,” said Brouwer while addressing the media outside the Makueni Governor’s office in Wote town on Thursday.

He said that the move is informed by a feasibility study that was carried out for the last three years in three health facilities and has shown good results that are implementable to promote primary health care in the county and the country at large.

“The feasibility study that has given good results and we are now looking into having a stable partnership and hope to sign an agreement very soon to make this dream come true here in Makueni,” he said.

Brouwer urged the county government to incorporate the changes they have proposed in the proposal while adding that it is imperative to know what is contained therein in a bid to complete the signing soon.

“The county government is expected to come up with time lines and know what to achieve and get it done,” said the ambassador.

The ambassador who was on familiarization tour of the county, also visited the Emali Model Health Centre where the piloting project has been carried out for the last three years.

Speaking at the same event, the Department of Health Chief Officer (CO) Dr Patrick Musyoki revealed that the pilot project was carried out at Emali Model Health Centre, Matiku and Tuthini dispensaries respectively.

“In a short while, through PPP unit at the National Treasury we will sign an agreement that will continue to guide us in improving primary health care,” Dr. Musyoki disclosed.

He further said the agreement is important to the county government because it is in accordance with the President’s Big four agenda where UHC is the top priority in the country.

Dr. Musyoki lauded Philips for the provision of modern equipment to the three health facilities and also thanked AMREF for reaching out to the community through the community health volunteers.

He revealed that the number of mothers giving birth at the three health facilities had increased to 78 per cent while those seeking outpatient services had risen to 92 per cent, however no previous percentage was given.

Also the revenue collection has increased significantly since the inception of the pilot project in 2018.

Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana thanked the Netherlands government for their contribution towards the health model that is a first in this part of the world and also lauded Philips and AMREF for their role in this partnership.

“This health model will be replicated in the entire county with the view to getting it done in the country and beyond,” said the governor.

He disclosed that his government was ready to offer the best health services in the county.

Also the event was addressed by Philips Project Lead Connected Primary Care Solution Ms June Omollo and Chief Executive Officer AMREF Health Innovations Officer Caroline Mbindyo.

Some of the equipment delivered to the health facilities include vital science monitor (used to look at the heart and pulse rate if functioning well), maternity and lab equipment and blood pressure.

The programme aims at preventing diseases at the community level using community health workers who move from house to house to educate the local residents at the community level.

They also educate pregnant mothers on the need to attend clinics and give birth at health facilities and also the importance of immunization, nutrition and family planning.

By Patrick Nyakundi and Ronald Rono

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