THE UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE PROGRAM LAUNCHED
The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Pilot Program was officially launched this week at the Mamboleo Showground in Kisumu.
The event which was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta saw all the Governors from the four pilot Counties of Kisumu, Nyeri, Isiolo and Machakos sign a commitment agreement for the implementation of the UHC program.
This comes as a great relief to the residents of the four selected Counties who will now access free medical services in public health facilities once they register. This is in line with the President’s big four agenda which highlights the need to, among others, provide free healthcare services to the citizens. He therefore urged all the stakeholders to rise to the occasion by supporting this noble initiative.
Also in attendance was Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o who reiterated that his administration was committed to providing free healthcare services to the Kisumu residents as well as empowering the Health workers to facilitate effective service delivery.
The President had earlier presided over the ground breaking ceremony of the construction of .Ahero Junction interchange that will go a long way in enhancing transport in the region. He later proceeded to Victory SDA Church where he issued cheques to youth, men and women entrepreneurs in Kisumu. He wound up his one day tour of the region by commissioning the recently completed Kakamega- Kisumu highway.
His Excellency President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta.
Her Excellency the First Lady, Mama Margaret Kenyatta,
His Excellency the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. David Mabuza,
The Right Honourable Dr. Hon Raila Amolo Odinga,
Mama Ida Odinga,
The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom
The Cabinet Secretary State Department of Health and your colleagues,
Chairman, Council of Governors, Josephat Nanok,
Excellency Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Development Partners present,
Members of Parliament and the County Assemblies,
All Protocols observed.
Mr. President this is your day. Let me therefore begin by welcoming you and your guests to
this great county of Kisumu, particularly to the City of Kisumu as you launch the Universal
Health Coverage (UHC), a key pillar in the BIG FOUR AGENDA. Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of Kisumu, and on my own behalf, we deeply appreciate the fact that Kisumu County is one of the four counties where this initiative is being piloted.
We cannot take it for granted that the launch today allows us to be part of an unfolding history in which we are present at the dawn as hosts. Thank you Mr. President for this singular honour.
Mr. President, Universal Health Coverage aims to attain equitable, affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all. I do believe that access to accessible, affordable and quality healthcare can only be fully realized through the full implementation of UHC. This journey has been long and tortuous Mr. President, quite often making two steps forward and reversing with one step backwards. But now I can see the resolve, I can feel the energy and I can smell the victory that we are bound to achieve because we are working together on this enterprise.
In Kisumu County, we are still disturbed by the high prevalence rates of both Malaria and HIV, high maternal mortality rates and increasing cases of cancer. However, we are making good progress in addressing these and other challenges through deliberate policies at the County level to enhance health financing, legislative and policy frameworks as well as partnerships. We have dedicated 30% of our total budget to health and recruited 2,280 Community Health Workers in 193 active community units whom we pay stipend. We will highly appreciate the assistance of the national government to establish the Cancer Centre at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).
Going forward Mr. President, Kisumu County is hopeful that we will maintain constructive dialogue with the national government on implementation of UHC, finalizing implementation guidelines and linking those guidelines to our County strategies for the health sector, complete with a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system. This environment of dialogue will also make it possible for counties to deliberate with national government on some of the sticking issues in healthcare delivery such as training of health personnel and resource allocation criteria.
Our potential for success is further energised by the relaxed political atmosphere that you and your brother Raila Amolo Odinga have breathed into this nation through the Building Bridges Initiative. Let not the two of you relent in chasing the corrupt elements in this nation wherever
they may be found. Leave no stone unturned as the Assets Recovery Agency seeks to return ill-gotten wealth back to the public treasury.
Mr President we need these recovered funds and assets to finance our health care system, build our Vocational Training Centres and take care of our public servants in retirement.
In this region, Mr President, we have had gallant men and women, brave Kenyans, who have always stood for what is right and just for all Kenyans. Their aspirations may not have been realised in their life time. But I stand here with pride and confidence that I am serving Kisumu as a Governor at a time when your Presidency is more than ready to give the common Kenyan an opportunity to live in a prosperous and democratic Kenya; a Kenya where periodic circles of elections will no longer herald predictable conflicts and misery for the common man.
Mr. President the secret of development lies in good and democratic governance, institutionalized rule of law, unassailable respect for human rights and the Universal acceptance of the equality of human kind. You and the Prime Minister have recently led by example in supporting the two thirds Gender Bill. This Bill is not just important in eliminating gender based discrimination in political representation; it is vital in establishing a culture and a national ethos of universal equality among men and women.
I have no doubt in my mind that our women play an exceptional role in bringing us up as children and in providing livelihoods in most peasant families. If we are to fully liberate our women, we must invest in modernizing our Agriculture through improved mechanization, irrigation, improved seeds, and good farm gate prices for our farmers, while supporting value addition and innovation in the sector
Mr. President, I therefore hope that it will no longer be treated as a rumour that your government has finally decided to implement the KORU-SOIN multipurpose dam. This project will be a game changer in the political economy of this region. Agricultural productivity will go up ten-fold in the Nyando Basin through improved, expanded and reliable irrigation. Flooding in this river basin will finally be tamed, stabilizing family settlements and eliminating water borne diseases, among other things.
As far as the sugar industry is concerned let me assure you that those of us in the committee you appointed chaired by Governor Oparanya, working together with CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, will do our best to deliver to you a report that will help solve all outstanding problems once your government acts on the recommendations.
Finally, Mr President, Kisumu and the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) looks forward to the SGR reaching here by January 2021. We are working hard to revitalize Maritime transport on the Lake and we are well aware that we will achieve even more in this area in partnership with the national government and the private sector. The SGR, Maritime transport and the road network you have launched today will link the region fully with the rest of Kenya and East Africa.
Why, Mr President, am I making this plea on the SGR?
We make this plea because, Mr. President and Rt. Hon Raila Amolo Odinga, Kisumu has a date with Destiny in November 2021 when about 10,000 people from Africa and the rest of the world will assemble here for the 9th Africities Summit. This is the premier event of Cities and Local Governments in Africa organized every three years by the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLGA) and the 8th edition of the Summit was held only last month in Marrakech, Morocco. I would like to thank you and your government for having made this possible by leading the bid by Kenya and Kisumu as host country and host city respectively. Governor Josephat Nanok and the Council of Governors, C.S. Eugene Wamalwa and the State Department of Devolution together with the Principal Secretary Charles Hinga in the State Department of Housing and Urban Affairs all went the extra mile to hold our hands on this adventurous journey. To them I extend my gratitude.
I would be completely out of order were I to end my welcome remarks without paying special tribute to three people: The Cabinet Secretary in charge of Health, Ms Cecily Kariuki, the Administrative Secretary in the same department my brother Dr. Rashid Amana and my Chairman Dr. Kuti, the Governor of Isiolo who I deputize in the Health Committee in the Council of Governors. On behalf of all other members of that Committee we would all like to appreciate the productive working relations we have had, culminating to this day – a day like no other!
Mr. President, please continue the valiant struggle to rid Kenya of the enemies of good governance and development. By their very nature, human beings don’t easily obey laws and rules. In fact God has always had problems with us since the day of Adam and Eve. Even Moses had a very hard time negotiating with God how many laws the Israelites would accept from God.
Every time Moses climbed the mountain to go and receive the laws he would come back with 72 which the people rejected as too many. He then went back and negotiated with God coming back with 50. The Israelites pleaded with him to reduce them and let God make them a little bit simpler to obey. Finally he went up and came back with the good news.
The good news was that he had managed to convince God to.make them only 10: one line each, simple, easy to understand and not reducible any more. The people applauded.
The bad news, however, Moses sadly announced with his head bowed down, was that ADULTERY WAS STILL PART OF THE LAW, the breakage of which would invite utter damnation.
Like I said at the beginning, this is your day Mr. President and talking beyond this point would be committing a cardinal crime even under the reduced laws numbering only ten.
May I wish you all a happy stay in Kisumu City and the County as we reflect together on the future of healthcare delivery system in our country.
As for me and the people of Kisumu County, we have seen the future and it works!
Thank you and may God bless Kenya.
Kisumu Governor, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o this morning received H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, Rt, Honourable, Raila Amolo Odinga, Deputy President, William Ruto and a host of dignitaries at the Kisumu International Airport, ahead of the launch of the national Universal Health Coverage set to take place at the Maboleo Show ground.
The President is also to commission other development projects in the area which include: The Ahero bypass, Maboleo bypass, and Ken Obura Secondary School in Migosi.
By: Emily Mikwa
The County Commissioner Madam Pauline Dola,
The Various Heads of the Government Security Departments,
Elected Leaders both from the national and County Governments,
The Religious Leaders Present,
County Government Officers,
Members of the Fourth Estate,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we celebrate the second Jamhuri day since we took office last year in September. This is the day that defined us as a sovereign nation 55 years ago! On this day, we forget all our differences, race, creed, ethnic composition and bind ourselves to our maker and reverence to our flag – the symbol of our oneness.
This freedom that we celebrate today, courtesy of the blood of the gallant sons and daughters of yore, must be jealously guarded to be bequeathed to the future of this nation.
The pursuit of freedom must be seen in our success at ensuring food security and nutrition for our children, attainment of free health coverage, accessible quality water, sanitation and safer environment; better governance that start from our doorsteps. This is when we shall know we are improving our lives because of the freedom we fought for. The freedom that will have truly freed our souls and made us proud to be Kenyans living in a free and democratic society.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
How do we pull together so that we all walk the same direction and to the same destination so that we can achieve these noble goals together? We must build an inclusive society,a society that respects the contribution of all and does not tolerate any form of discrimination, based on sex, religion, race, region, ethnicity or colour.
This is why my government has worked on measures to bring parity and equity amongst our people coming from different communities and believing in diverse religions. In our current budget, for example, we have gone a long way to give better opportunities for all attending by expanding training of ECD teachers and equipping the schools betters.
We have also made allocation for the Kisumu Enterprise Fund. This fund seeks to transform our small business people to start-up industries by giving them access to affordable funding that hitherto would not be available in the mainstream lending institutions.
Likewise, we are now ready to implement the Kisumu Roads Maintenance Teams that I proposed in my Manifesto so as to provide jobs for many young people. These Teams will make our roads motorable at all times, thereby promoting trade and commerce in our economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All this would not have been possible if the County Assembly had not done its work of thoroughly scrutinizing bills and ensuring sound decisions as a basis for good governance. My gratitude goes therefore to the Assembly and its leadership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
People from far and wide have noticed the progress we have made in transforming our County.
This achievement would not have been possible without the participation of all the actors across the spectrum: the National Government, the people of the great County of Kisumu and our development partners.
It is our responsibility as leaders to cultivate a society that appreciates all stakeholders in our development process. We have realised that working together with the National Government for example, we can synergize and achieve a lot.
In this regard, let me take this early opportunity to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga for bringing calmness to the otherwise turbulent waters of our politics through the Building Bridges Initiative. We are now able to fight corruption, mismanagement of resources, and bad governance without allowing culprits to hide behind the cloak of tribalism for protection.
If we continue to focus on improving the productivity of our economy by eliminating the wastage corruption we shall achieve a lot in terms of development in a very short time.
We must therefore go out of our way to focus on capacity building, skills development, and entrepreneurship particularly among our youth. With access to appropriate technology, our youth can design mobile applications, excel in the performing arts as well as in sports. We must harness this boundless human capital. That is why my Government has focussed on creating incubation and innovation centres over time across all our Wards that will be equipped with the requisite equipment and tools to make our youth what they must be – capital to our nation.
The Universal Health Coverage which will be launched by HE. The President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is very important in creating a productive work force. Our gratitude to the president is profound for having chosen Kisumu as one of the piloting Counties alongside Isiolo, Machakos and Nyeri. UHC will help us to drastically improve our health statistics in a very short time.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have just come back from the inaugural Sustainable Blue Economy Conference held in Nairobi between 26th – 28th November 2018. This conference that brought together over 18,000 participants from 184 Countries, was called to discuss sustainable ways of harnessing the potential of our oceans, seas, lakes and rivers to improve the lives of all of us.
The water towers are dying; the rivers that have been our irrigation enablers are drying up, raw industrial waste flow freely into our lakes, turning our beautiful blue water surfaces into habitats of menaces like hyacinth. We cannot sit by as this blue economy we have survived on for decades gets destroyed by our own foolish industrial and farming activities.
We are all called to action to uphold the virtues of our freedom by making the right choices in environmental management. Simple choices like 145,000 tree seedlings that we planted across the County in the last financial year can go a long way to improve the environment thereby safeguarding our Blue Economy.
Simple declarations like the one I am making today that henceforth, there shall be no washing of cars in the lake or any rivers within the County will obviously help to safeguard our Blue Economy. And that, believe you me, is an Executive Order.
We shall partner with the National Government agencies like NEMA to rid our waters of the unceasing effluents choking our water bodies to extinction.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The kind and warm welcoming spirit of the people of Kisumu is our strength that we bring to the national and world stage. The time to exemplify this is now as we roll out the red carpet to welcome delegates for the Africities Conference to our lovely city in November 2021.
This conference that is expected to bring about 10,000 delegates from across Africa and the world will substantially revolutionise the face of this county. We must put our best foot forward to reap all those benefits that it portends including the approximate two billion shillings direct injection expected into our economy.
Finally, ladies and gentlemen, within the next 2 years, we shall improve on this memorable sports Ground so that it can truly represent the memory of our freedom fighters, people like – MzeeJomo Kenyatta, JaramogiOgingaOdinga – Ogwal bade chieko, Achien’gOneko – Nyakech and many others. Since history is always dynamic, this ground will also be home to the heroes of the Second Liberation and those who have passed on in more recently while promoting the freedoms that are guaranteed in our current constitution.
A LUTA CONTINUA
Thank you and God bless you
Over three hundred pre primary School teachers in Kisumu County are set benefit from a professional development training programme courtesy of a partnership agreement between the County Government and the Madrasa Early Childhood Program – Kenya (MECP-K).
The Memorandum signing marked the beginning of a long term partnership between the County Government and MCEP-K in promoting Early Childhood Development through training and mentorship in order to enhance classroom practice.
Speaking at the launch, Kisumu Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o who was the chief guest lauded the partnership as he appreciated the move by MECP-K in complimenting the County Government’s ambitious plan to improve education quality as outlined in the County Integrated Development Plan (2018-2022),remarks echoed by County Education Minister Dr. John Obiero Ogone.
On her part MECP-K Program Director Miss Amina H. Mwitu stated that signing the MOU had opened doors for future engagements between the two entities.
The three year long agreement will see MECP-K provide specialized service in hands-on training to three hundred ECDE teachers from one hundred ECD centers attached to public primary schools in Kisumu County.
MCP-K will support further the County Government’s plans by establishing ten model pre-schools that will showcase quality learning opportunities in all spheres.
By: Eric Omollo and Collins Owuor
Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o this week led County Government Officials in feting this year’s KCPE top performers in a ceremony held at the Jommo Kenyatta sports grounds.
Pupils who scored 400 marks and above were sampled from the entire 35 sub counties; they were accompanied by their respective parents and guardians to the occasion where they received gifts from the government.
Speaking during the function, the Governor congratulated the pupils and said that their relentless effort made the County proud. Professor challenged the pupils to keep the fire of academics burning even more as they look forward to joining various Secondary schools so that in the long run, they would become professors like the Governor. He added that the County was looking forward to revitalize industries in the County and therefore challenged the top performers to tighten their belts even further so that the County would depend on them for manpower in the same industries in future.
A total of 71 top performers were rewarded for their excellence in this year’s KCPE Examinations.
The County Minister for Education, ICT and Human Resources Dr. Obiero Ogone congratulated the students who performed very well and made it clear that the 71 pupils were just a sample of over 400 pupils who scored four hundred marks and above.
The leading boy in the County is Otuke Zachary Mogambi who scored 447 in the recent examination; he is a student at Muhoroni Furaha Academy while the leading girl is Tamasha Amondi who scored 437 marks, she is a student at Maseno Girls Primary School.
By: Collins Owuor
MASHINANI CLEAN-UP EXERCISE
County Department of Environment, Water, Irrigation and Natural Resources in partnership with Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), this week organized a Cleanup exercise dubbed Kisumu County Clean – Up and tree planting awareness campaign across the Sub counties as from 3rd t0 7th December, 2018.
The campaign which was initiated by the County Minister for Water, Irrigation and Natural Resources, Hon. Salmon Orimba, brought together Stakeholders who included: Lake Basin development Authority, Kenya Medical Training College, Symbiocity International, Water Resource Users Associations, Community Based Organizations among other NGO’s who participated in the cleanup exercise that took place in; Kisumu Central, Muhoroni, Nyando, Nyakach, Seme and Kisumu West Sub-Counties.
The Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) supported the exercise by donating 2,000 bamboo tree seedlings which were planted along the riverbanks to conserve the environment.
The objective of the campaign is to mainstream environmental conservation and stewardship among the youth and communities through vibrant and alternative methods such as music, art, dance and other interactive platforms.
The week long clean up exercise culminated into a Mr. and Miss Environment pageant who will be mandated to spearhead green initiatives and address problems related to environmental degradation within the County. The event also saw both individual and corporate environmental champions honored in a high level red- carpet event.
By: Emily Mikwa
Kisumu County is set to host President Uhuru Kenyatta on 13th, December, on his tour to the County to officially launch the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program which targets 240,000 households within the County.
The UHC program was initiated by the president under the big four agenda aimed at offering free medical services to the citizens. Kisumu County was one among the four Counties earmarked for the pilot .
Speaking during the media briefing in the Governor’s boardroom, the County Minister for Health, Dr. Rosemary Obara said that the County is doing well in terms of registration and that the statistics is at 230,000 households captured.
She added that the County would do their best within their capacity to support the initiative, citing that it is in line with the Governor’s manifesto.
She reiterated that her Ministry has received funds from the National treasury which they have allocated to facilitate the running of the project; Ksh 35 Million for the purchase of equipment, Ksh 82 Million for Health System strengthening , Ksh 4.2 Million for Public Health Support, and Ksh 118 Million for Health System Maintenance.
An allocation of Ksh 800 Million was also put in place to build the capacity of the health services workers and also to hire a contractual personnel to facilitate sufficient manpower.
The minister clarified that the UHC would be free to the residents and no medical charges would be incurred in public hospitals once a registration is done. She appreciated the County Assembly of Kisumu for passing a supplementary budget which would be used to purchase more ambulances to ensure prompt Health service delivery to the residents.
By: Eric Omollo
Counties and the National government have made significant steps towards the adoption of effective governance systems to streamline relations between the two.
Speaking at the Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) meeting held at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the move as he encouraged stakeholders to join hands in supporting the initiative.
Improved intergovernmental relations he said was the only sure way of making devolution a success in the counties.
Industry stakeholders jointly agreed on the need to improve relations between the governments in a bid to fastrack rapid infrastructural development at both levels.
In his address Devolution, Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli echoed Nyongo’s sentiments as he vowed to engage the national government in forming unified alliances with the counties
IGRTC is a body established as a framework for consultation and co-operation between the National and County Governments.
By: Collins Owuor
Kisumu County Government joined the rest of the world in celebrating the international day of persons with disability at the National Industrial Training Authority grounds in Kisumu.
The day falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. This enriches their capacities and supports them in setting their priorities.
This year’s theme, ” empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality” focused on empowering persons with disabilities for an inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. This prepares them to exploit available opportunities hence they become agents of change.
While addressing the gathering, Labour Cabinet Secretary Amb. Ukur Yatani urged Counties to work toward mainstreaming issues of persons with disabilities within their work force in the County. He also called upon Counties to formulate policies and legal frameworks that will help in mainstreaming issues of Persons with Disabilities.
He also commended Kisumu County Government for passing and operationalizing the policy. He also reiterated the issue of access to five percent of the tenders set by the Government to persons with disabilities. He said the Government plans to make the public transport system to be disability friendly.
On his part, Kisumu Governor Professor. Anyang’ Nyong’o promised to ensure that his government will spearhead the mainstreaming issues of persons with disabilities, having passed and now operationalizing the Disability Act.
Governor Nyong’o pointed out that the issue of cultural bias against people with disability should be shunned.
“As a County Government, we are prepared to tackle the issues of mainstreaming in so far as the needs of persons with disability are concerned and this is marked by the passing and the operationalization of the Disability Act,” said the Governor.
The event was also graced by: Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owilli, Mama Kisumu Dorothy Nyong’o, Members of Parliament Hon Sharkil Shabir of Kisumu East, Hon. James Koyoo of Muhoroni, Hon Denis Olesankok representing PWDs, Tom Odege of Nyatike, nominated Senator Denita Gati of Migori representing PWDs, Dr Nyakiamo of National Funds for the Disable, CEC Education, Dr. John Obiero Ogone, Director General NITA, Director among other dignitaries.
By: Emily Mikwa