Kenya to increase funding to fight against non-communicable diseases

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-28 20:30:32|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NAIVASHA, Kenya, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's health ministry said Thursday it will increase budgetary allocations towards the fight against non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

Jackson Kioko, director of medical services in the Ministry of Health said that availability of sufficient funds will boost response to the rising toll of lifestyle diseases that have worsened household poverty.

"The government and partners will scale up funding towards prevention, treatment and management of NCDs even as we hasten progress towards attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)," Kioko said.

He spoke in the resort town of Naivasha during a national stakeholders' workshop on NCDs attended by senior policymakers, industry executives, community leaders and campaigners.

Kioko said the health ministry and civil society partners have developed an Integrated Delivery of Care for NCDs Kenya Country Initiative whose implementation is expected to boost overall health outcomes in the country.

He said the initiative aims to create awareness and educate citizens on the dangers of NCDs and how to manage them effectively.

"This initiative will involve capacity building on NCDs at primary care level, early screening and linkage to care, diagnosis and treatment at primary care facilities with appropriate referral for specialized care," said Kioko.

He revealed that an estimated 25 percent of Kenyans are either on treatment or unknowingly living with high blood pressure and cardio-vascular ailment that are life threatening.

Kioko said that over 38,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed while 27,000 patients die of the disease annually.

He attributed the increase in cancer cases to unhealthy lifestyles such as tobacco use, consumption of unhealthy diets, insufficient physical activity and use of alcohol.

He disclosed that the government is in the process of establishing modern cancer centers in Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii counties to help ease congestion at the main referral hospitals in Nairobi.

Joseph Kibachio, head of non-communicable diseases unit in the Ministry of Health said the government has partnered with multilateral lenders and industry to explore innovative financing models to strengthen response to lifestyle diseases.

"We are addressing funding gaps and other bottlenecks that have derailed the fight against NCDs through strategic linkages with private sector and external lenders," said Kibachio.