UN backs Kenya's ambitious universal health plan

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-10 23:58:10|Editor: Chengcheng
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NAIROBI, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday endorsed Kenya's ambitious Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program which seeks to ensure that all Kenyans access quality healthcare.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesos, WHO director-general, said he will mobilize the top leadership of the global health body to attend the launch event on Thursday, which will kick start the pilot phase of the UHC program in four counties, President Uhuru Kenyatta's office said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"Kenya is starting its UHC journey. Your country is trailblazing a new trend in Health in Africa," Ghebreyesos said when he hosted the president at the start of the first management meeting of the organization outside its headquarters in Geneva.

He assured President Kenyatta that WHO is committed to support the country's UHC, describing Kenya as a trailblazer in Africa.

The Nairobi meeting brings together the global leadership of WHO as they commence the implementation of the 13th General Programme of work, 2019-2023.

Kenya plans to rollout its UHC program on a pilot basis in four out of the 47 counties.

The ministry of health says use of Kisumu, Isiolo, Nyeri and Machakos as samples would generate the required feedback to guide the countrywide rollout afterwards.

UHC is part of President Kenyatta's Big Four agenda, comprising of food security, manufacturing, affordable housing and universal healthcare and is meant to ensure all Kenyans have access to quality healthcare.

Kenyatta, who opened the three-day WHO meeting in Nairobi, said the attainment of UHC in Kenya is not a destination but a continuous process which will involve constant widening of the social safety nets to ensure that no one is left behind as the country strives to achieve its national health aspirations.

He said Kenya has made good progress in uplifting the health of her people, gaps still exist in terms of service coverage, quality and human resource distribution across the country.

According to Kenyatta, UHC is aimed at addressing the financial burden that perennially drives some Kenyans to poverty and subsequently slowing down the economy.