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COVID 19: Mixed Bag for Realization of UHC

Reduction of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) allocation by KES 11.3billion through the Supplementary (COVID-19) Estimates no. 2 for the FY 2019/2020 had cast doubt on the potential success of the programme.

In a meeting on Monday between the Senate Committee on Health chaired by Sen Michael Mbito (Transnzoia) and Ministry of Health, it emerged the pandemic has provided fresh impetus for the recruitment of interns and skilled health workers across the counties.

“With regards to recruitment of interns and skilled healthcare workers. COVID-19 has provided an opportunity to fast track the recruitment of Human Resources for Health because we will require these resources for deploying a search capacity for COVID,” reported CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi.

“Counties are at different stages of recruitment. This is quite instrumental to primary healthcare which is the premise of the UHC.”

This meeting also established that 46 County Governments had entered the Intergovernmental Participation Agreements (IPAs) with differing timelines and provisions dependent on individual county work-plans. Nairobi City County is yet to sign the IPA. 

While noting the progress toward recruitment as a positive contribution to the UHC agenda, Senators led by Sen Mbito, sought clarity on the status of the Special Portable Clinics which were meant to enhance the UHC.

“Seeing that these clinics were budgeted for under Sports Fund and not MOH raises questions. Have the EACC completed investigations on this matter?” posed Sen Mbito.

The CAS however stated that she did not have the information on hand but assured the committee that she’ll get an update and furnish the membership.

Senators present at the meeting included: Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Beth Mugo, Petronilla Lokorio, Okong’o Omogeni and Naomi Shiyonga.