December 2018 theStar;Kenya will inch closer to its goal of attaining Universal Health Coverage by 2022 on Thursday, when President Uhuru Kenyatta launches the pilot phase of the programme in Kisumu.
WHO defines universal health care as ensuring all people have access to quality preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitation and palliative health services regardless of their ability to pay.
The UHC programme, one of the items in the Big Four agenda, will be piloted in four counties – Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos.
At least 3.2 million Kenyans will be the first beneficiaries of the health package during the piloting.
The four counties were chosen for the pilot phase on need basis.
Machakos county was chosen after research indicated that it was the county most prone to road accidents in Kenya.
Nyeri, Isiolo and Kisumu were selected based on the Kenya Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan (KHSSP) 2014-2018.
It indicated that Nyeri has a high prevalence rate of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer.
Isiolo was found to be among the 15 counties with high maternal mortality rates and represented sparse population, while Kisumu was selected on the basis of its high prevalence rates of communicable diseases such as HIV and malaria.
During the piloting phase, the UHC package will cater for outpatient care such as consultation, mental illness and emergency health care.
Inpatient care will include medical and surgical services, enhanced maternal and child health services and enhanced HIV, tuberculosis and malaria treatment.
Other public health services such as mosquito nets distribution, door-to-door immunisation, public health education, and screening for non-communicable diseases will also be issued.
Lessons learnt from the pilot scheme will be used to roll out the programme throughout the country.
The government has already embarked on increasing enrolment to NHIF to enable access to affordable universal health care.
According to ICT CS Joe Mucheru, only six million Kenyans out of an estimated population of 45 million were registered with the fund as at August 2018.
According to Health CS Sicily Kariuki, every Kenyan must register for the UHC before receiving health care services.
“Registration will be done by at the household level by community health volunteers,” Kariuki said in an interview with KNA.