President Kibaki in a past event. He presided over the handing of ambulances to District Hospitals
The Government committed itself to improving accessibility, equity, affordability and quality essential health care services for every Kenyan. To realise this objective, the 2005-2010 National Health Sector Strategic Plan was developed. The theme of this plan is, "Reversing the Trend."
This is developed under the Kenya Health Policy Framework, the Economic Recovery Strategy and the health related targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Government has over the past four years increased the budget of the ministry from Ksh 18.3 billion in 2002/03 to Ksh 33.3 billion in 2006/07. This amount has been spent on for different programmes resulting in enhanced delivery of health care services at all levels, with notable achievements.
Today, we have adequate drugs in all the rural health facilities as a result of enhancing the capacity of Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA). Provision and procurement of essential medicines and medical supplies has improved greatly.
Each hospital receives drugs every month, while dispensaries and health centres receive an enhanced treatment kit once every three months. This availability of drugs has led to increased utilisation by over 50%.
Medical supplies availability in rural health facilities further supports the 10/20 policy introduced by government in July 2004. This policy reduced the fees charged at dispensary and health centres to Ksh. 10 and Ksh. 20 respectively.
Provision of free drugs for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/Aids in public health facilities is ongoing
Ksh. 1.95 billion has been invested in the rehabilitation of health facilities. This has given a facelift to our health facilities and provided basic amenities. The distribution of the funds is done in an equitable manner, with every dispensary and health centre receiving Ksh. 180,000 and Ksh. 240,000 respectively. All sub-district, district and provincial hospitals were also covered, each receiving in excess of Ksh. 2 million, depending on their priority needs.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) continues to mobilise funding, with members contributing about Ksh 3 billion a year. NHIF has started financing a comprehensive healthcare package in over 222 contracted government, faith- based and private hospitals. A total of 445 hospitals are so far recognised by the National Hospital Insurance Fund and provide services on a non-discriminatory system to members and their dependants.
The Government has procured essential drugs for rural health facilities worth Ksh. 750 million. This is adequate to cover a full year’s consumption at the current rates.
The ministry has acquired equipment worth Ksh. 720 million to replace obsolete facilities. Each health centre and dispensary will receive a minimum set of diagnostic equipment to include, among others, autoclaves, BP machines and delivery kits. Hospitals will receive the most critical items such as x-ray machines and theatre tables, based on their needs.
In 2006/07, a further Kshs 1 billion has been allocated for procurement of equipment. The two tertiary institutions, Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital will receive Ksh. 1.4 billion and Ksh 70 million respectively for upgrading. Priority is being given to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), casualty and dialysis units. KNH has since purchased a modern MRI machine.
Ksh. 210 million and Ksh. 315 million has been used to support procurement of reproductive health commodities and vaccines, respectively. These programmes were previous wholly dependent on donor financing.
The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) programme has also enhanced the availability of health facilities countrywide. Over 1,000 dispensaries have been constructed through CDF and efforts are being made to provide staff, drugs and equipment to make them operational.
A total of 3,080 health workers have been employed on contract and deployed to rural areas. The Government intends to increase funds for personnel emoluments, which will be used to absorb these health workers upon expiry of their contracts.
Immunisation coverage has been increased from less than 63% in 2002 to 68% currently.
Anti-retroviral therapy coverage increased from 65,000 people in 2005 to over 110,000 people.
The number of children on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) is 10,000 today up from 4,000 in 2005.
Malaria control has been intensified through in-door residue spraying and provision of over 3.4 million nets. Consequently, we have not had any major malaria outbreak since 2003. The total cost of the programme is Ksh. 1.2 billion.
In addition, there is a new treatment policy on malaria using Artemisinin Combination Therapy to address resistance to Sulphadoxine Pyremethamine. The drugs are given free in all public and faith based health facilities. The total amount spent is Ksh. 1.1 billion
Referral services have been improved. Patients are assured of immediate referral in case of any complications. This has been made possible by the availability of ready transport. The government has increased the stock of vehicles. 115 more ambulances will be procured during the financial year 2006/2007 for distribution. Of these, 80 have already been purchased by NHIF.
Essential medicines and medical commodities are now available in all public health facilities. This has enhanced the ability of medical staff to diagnose and treat diseases.
Service charters have been developed and displayed in all public health facilities. The charters detail the level and quality of health services patients should expect. This is in recognition of wananchi’s right to better services.
Of the eight MDG goals, three are related to health sector. These are: reduction of child mortality by the two thirds come 2015, improvement in maternal health by three quarters in the same period and combating HIV/Aids, malaria and other diseases like tuberculosis.
The Government has:
Enhanced prevention and treatment activities such as increment of VCT centres from 3 in 1998 to 850 today. These efforts have contributed to the decline in overall HIV prevalence from 14 % in the late 1990s to 5.9%.
Introduced free treatment for patients seeking Anti- Retroviral Therapy (ART). There are 110,000 patients on ART compared to 2,000 in 2003.
Introduced free health care provision for TB-related cases in all Government Hospitals.
Distributed long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets to pregnant mothers and children in public facilities free of charge. So far more than 3.4 million nets have been distributed. The number of pregnant women sleeping under nets has improved from 4.4% in 2003 to 25%. Similarly, the number of children less than five years of age enjoying this facility has increased from 4.6% in 2003 to 23.9%.
Improved maternal health care through intensified focus on antenatal care, prevention of mother to child transmission, prenatal care provision of iron supplements, tetanus immunization, malaria prevention, identification of high-risk births, skilled birth attendance and family planning services.
Enhanced access to safe motherhood services by the opening of more sites offering focused antenatal care from 45 to 72 districts. Also, the training of community midwives and increasing the number of facilities offering PMCT to 1,500.
Strengthened immunization under the Kenya Expanded Programme on Immunization (KEPI). The immunization coverage that was on the decline is now on an upward trend, reaching 68% in 2006.
Established a meningitis surveillance site at the Kenyatta National Hospital. Measles cases have also declined due to laboratory surveillance systems.
Kenya has been polio free. However, a recent case was reported in a refugee camp in North Eastern Province. The Government has developed a polio campaign. The first round was conducted in five districts in North Eastern and Eastern provinces in November 2006. Another campaign has been conducted in Nairobi and Thika districts.
Developed, through the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), a Hepatitis B testing kit which is currently in use. An HIV testing kit has also been developed. It is currently undergoing technical evaluation by the National Aids and STD Control Programme.
In the next few months, the Government intends to:
Procure equipment worth Ksh. 1 billion for dispensaries, health centres and hospitals.
Provide drug kits for dispensaries, health centres and hospitals worth Ksh. 1.5 billion.
Register 600 dispensaries constructed by CDF and operationalise 300 of these facilities, and
Employ 1,202 health workers to replace those who have left the service.
Indeed, Kenyans have a right to health services that meet their expectations, needs and established health care standards. As such, the Government guarantees the provision of quality and affordable health services to all Kenyans.