The African Institute of Development Policy (AFIDEP) has lauded the Kenya government for its recent passage of crucial health bills into law but urged for its effective implementation.
Speaking at the Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH)- Kenya chapter meeting with the members of the parliamentary health committee in Nairobi on Wednesday, Dr Rose Oronje, the Head of the Kenya Country Office said the move by President William Ruto is a great milestone towards realising affordable and accessible healthcare to all Kenyans.
“Citizens are looking forward to leaders implementing these laws to change their lives,” she said noting however that Kenya is not insufficient of adequate policies but the implementation has not been satisfactory.
On October 19, President Ruto signed four Universal Health Coverage (UHC) bills into law and include the Primary Health Care Bill, Facility Improvement Financing Bill, Digital Health Bill and the Social Health Insurance Bill which are meant to address issues such as low health insurance coverage and burdensome out-of-pocket costs.
At the meeting, the parliamentarians shared progress on the road to achieving commitments made in February during the Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH) in Kampala, Uganda where , Kenya committed to increase her budget for the health sector funding from 122B (USD.12.2M) to 154B (USD. 15.4M), institute a Facility Improvement Fund (FIF) law and provide seed funds for HIV, TB, RH products.
While lauding the Kenya government on its move on health, Peter Ngure, Programme Manager of the USAID-funded Building Capacity for Integrated Family planning (FP) and Reproductive Health (RH) and Population, Environment and Development (PED) Action (BUILD) project on his part called for the acceleration of access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for young people. BUILD Project is a consortium of five partner organiastions led by the AFIDEP. Others are the Leadership for Environment and Development Southern and Eastern Africa (LEAD SEA), PATH Foundation Philippines Inc (PFPI), FHI360, Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). The project is being implemented in four hub countries, namely, Kenya, Malawi, Ivory Coast and Philippines.
Dr Robert Pukose, chairperson, Parliamentary Committee of Health assured participants that the parliament is committed to ensuring that Kenya has the right legal frameworks that will bolster provision of family planning services in the country as the right path towards realising universal health coverage.
Ngure urged for the adoption of systems thinking taking cognisance of the interlinkages of health, environment, population and development as enshrined in the five pillars of the SDGs; partnership, planet, people, prosperity and peace.