The third edition of the National Universal Health Coverage (UHC) conference kicked off yesterday in Kisumu as stakeholders in the health sector converged at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel to gauge its implementation pace in the pilot Counties
UHC is one of the government’s priority areas, under the Big Four Agenda and its success is crucial in achieving Vision 2030.
In his address Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili called for a multi sectorial approach to strengthen referral systems in the country, sentiments echoed earlier by Ag. CEC Health Nerry Achar.
The three day conference comes to close on Friday as the County gears up to champion its cause as a key player in the UHC rollout.
Kisumu is one of the four Counties selected to pilot the Health program others are Isiolo, Machakos and Nyeri.
Also present were Nyeri Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu, Senior Goverment Officials from the Health Ministry, Development partners USAID, WHO, WORLD BANK, Roads & Transport CEC Thomas Ondijo, Markets & Cooperatives CEC Richard Ogendo, County Secretary Dr. Olang’o Onudi, Nominated Senator Rose Nyamunga among other representatives from the Private and Public sector.
By Collins Owuor and Matilda Atieno
ONE BILLION RADIOTHERAPY CENTER TO BENEFIT KISUMU RESIDENTS
Cancer patients in Kisumu and other neighbouring Counties will soon be able to
access radiotherapy services at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and
Referral Hospital following the launch of construction for Kisumu Radiotherapy
Centre by Kisumu Governor, Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o.
For a long time, cancer patients within the western circuit have had to travel long
distances to access radiotherapy sessions at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the
only public hospital offering radiotherapy management.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony held at the hospital grounds, Governor
Nyong’o who was accompanied by his deputy Dr. Mathew Owili said that Phase One
of the project valued at Ksh350M shall commence immediately and is expected to
be complete in a record two years or less.
“Our main goal is to establish a one billion centre project by end of 5 years”. He
Once complete, the hospital will be able to offer comprehensive oncology services
such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and palliative care to the cancer patients
across the region, adding that the County will embark on comprehensive outreach
programmes to inform the people on the benefits of early screening, diagnosis and
Currently, in Kenya alone, an estimated 40,000 new cancer cases and 28,000
cancer deaths occur each year making it the third leading cause of mortality and
accounting for 7per cent of all annual deaths.
The day also saw the Governor unveil the Sickle Cell Anaemia Clinic to help address
its high prevalence among new-borns.
The Ag. Minister for Health and Sanitation Nerry Achar on his part said that the
County will formulate a policy to ensure all Sickle Cell survivors are covered under
the new universal health cover.
Also present at the ceremony were County Ministers Achie Alai and Salmon
Orimba, the Hospital Board of Management, Members of the County Assembly,
Partners Representatives: Ruth Muya- National Cancer Institute, Dr. Ogada and Dr.
Ogendo from Uzima and Maseno Universities, and other County Officials.
The County Government has announced plans to decentralize dental units in efforts to improve oral services at the sub counties.
Speaking during the first edition of the Kenya Dental Association(KDA) conference at the Grand Royal Swiss Hotel, Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili lauded the role dentists played in supporting effective healthcare systems.
According to Owili provisions are currently under way to identify and train young personnel in paediatric and conservative dentistry.
In his address KDA President, Dr. Andrew Wetende lauded the county government for its boldness in prioritizing dental health.
Also present were County Health Director Dr. Dickens Onyango, Keynote Speaker Prof. Arthur Kemoli, KDA Western Chair Dr. Immaculate Opondo among other practitioners from the Association.
The three-day event comes to close on Saturday as the dentists gathered to establish new insights in Dental Management.
By Collins Owuor
The newly appointed Kisumu County Public Service Board took an oath of office on the 30th of April 2019 in a ceremony presided over by the Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo.
The board is expected to assume office immediately to take up the role of streamlining the Human resource of the county.
Kisumu governor Prof. Nyong’o who was present during the swearing in session at the city hall urged the board to deliver on its mandate without fear or favour but instead be just and truthful in performing their duties.
” Now that we have a working public service board in place. I urge members of the public to be patient and wait for the board to advertise for jobs, apply and wait for the results, reassuring that that recruitment process will be done in a free and fair manner without any discrimination.
Speaking after the swearing in, the chairman of the board Mr. Charles Karan promised that the board will discharge their responsibilities in strict adherence to the constitution.
“We shall be guided by the provisions of the County Government Act, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the applicable County laws from whence we draw our mandate”, said Mr. Karan.
By Matilda Atieno
The International Workers’ Day, also known as labour Day was marked Kisumu, organized by labour unions and the county leadership as workers celebrate cross the country.
In his speech, Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o urged the workers’ representatives through the various existing unions to work closely with his government in the race to providing a healthy working environment. “My government is committed in creating a conducive working environment for all as well as creating more opportunities for those who aspire to join us.”
With the newly formed public service board, the governor stated that county government intends to address the various disparities that exist in the current system and was confident that men, women and youth seeking employment can be engaged adequately to realize their full potential and achieve their dreams. “We must ensure that we have a productive workforce that will ensure effective and efficient service delivery as we also seek ways of addressing the sky-rocketing wage bill that continues to be a real concern.” Says the Governor.
According to Governor Nyong’o the County government has established model Business and Incubation Centres to encourage innovation as well as tap talents that will unlock the jobless gridlock in the county. “We have since factored Kshs. 350 million for the construction of an ultra-modern innovation and incubation centre at Rotary Vocational Training Centre.
The history of Labour Day is originally tied to the “dignity of workers “and it is emphasized internationally. The labour day celebrations in Kisumu brought together various groups of workers and their unions.
By Matilda Atieno
by Lorraine Anyango.
Medicines used to treat chronic disease have been taking a large proportion of total volume in the health facilities in Kisumu County in the last four months.
It’s further expected that chronic disease medicine volumes will increase dramatically if continued access is provided under the Universal health care program.
This is according to a recent medicines situation report submitted by the County Pharmacist dated March 18th 2019.
The chronic disease medicines are regularly provided and used for the lifetimes of individuals who need them.
Additional problems of affordability that faced people living with chronic diseases due to the lifelong nature of treatment and the frequent need for combination therapy have been reduced and nearly eliminated since the launch of the UHC pilot program in the county.
Pre- UHC pilot program, was characterized with low availability of medicines in the public sector, and patients were often forced to purchase some of the essential medicines in the private sector. This has however changed. High medicine prices were largely responsible for increase the cost of treatment.
During the same period, Kisumu County decided to decentralize their procurement process in an effort to meet local needs through increased local involvement, accountability and flexibility.
Kisumu County has shifted from push to pull distribution systems thereby creating the need for health facility data for distribution planning and ordering.
Under UHC, Kisumu country was allocated 510 Million shillings for health products and technologies and basic equipment.
Even with this allocation, Kisumu County department of health has faced challenges when attempting to address the medicines supply gap.
The challenges arises due to the county level budget for procurement of health products for primary health care not being maintained, so as to complement support from the national government.
Kisumu county government owes KEMSA a total of Ksh 77,526,555.98 in unpaid invoices for essential medicines and medical supplies delivered to Kisumu county health facilities, even though KEMSA has made efforts it may not always manage 100% fill rate.
Essential medicines and medical supplies that were supplied at the inception of UHC pilot have been used by most facilities well within the period ending 14th March 2019 with some stocks still in place although a few of the facilities have reported stock outs of some of the commodities.
KEMSA, however, failed to supply some essential medicines up to date, and these have been stocked out in nearly all the facilities. The most significant ones include ceftriaxone 1g injection, albendazole 400mg tablets, nifedipine 20mg SR tablets, chlorhexidine digluconate 7.1% for cord care, benzyl penicillin 5mu inj, phenobarbitone inj. and ampiclox 500mg capsules.
“There’s need to budget for county level procurement of stocked out medicines since such a situation is bound to occur again.” Dr Lawrence Otieno the County pharmacist notes.
Pharmacy workforce shortages constitute a major capacity limitation to the provision of pharmaceutical services and access to medicines in Kisumu County. The county currently has 46 pharmacists and 35 pharmaceutical technologists against a minimum requirement of at least 70 pharmacists and 190 pharmaceutical technologists.
“Recruitment of additional pharmacy workforce should be considered when developing medicines policies and pharmaceutical services and integrated into broader human resources for health strategic plans.” Dr Otieno adds.
The relative contributor to the county burden of disease of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, is relatively is huge in Kisumu county. The implications for the delivery and use of pharmaceuticals are profound.
However medicines for HIV/AIDs, TB and malaria drugs are supplied by the national government through KEMSA free of charge to the county. Whereas antiretrovirals and TB medicines are supplied on monthly basis, antimalarials and family planning commodities are supplied on quarterly basis.
In February 2019, the Health Information Systems department at the Ministry of Health introduced data sets for reporting of tracer essential medicines and non-pharmaceuticals onto the DHIS2. Kisumu county department of health is keen to embrace the usage of this reporting platform as it will give a clear visibility of the medicines availability across the county health facilities. Consumption reports from the month of March going forward will be submitted through DHIS2 rather than excel based emails.
Analysis of consumption is complicated by the diversity of commodity management systems used by health facilities. The need for more comprehensive information system is particularly acute in low level health facilities especially those that do not have trained pharmaceutical personnel.
As the county shifts from the Excel based reporting to the DHIS2 platform for reporting of tracer commodities, there’s need to support the sub county pharmacists to adequately tackle the challenges involved with reporting.
Kisumu County’s investment in community and primary health care.
About 2500 community health workers (CHW) are set to benefit from 45 million shillings set-aside by the county government of Kisumu as stipend.
The amount has been budgeted to cover for 6 months stipend before the next financial year commences. Each of the CHW’s will be receiving Ksh 3000 on a monthly basis.
Governor Peter Anyang Nyong’o will on 12th of April launch the payment at Angola hospital in Kisumu East Sub-county, during which he will pay off the first batch of 16 million shillings to the CHW’s.
The remuneration is in line with the promise given by the County Government of Kisumu as an appreciation for the services rendered by the health volunteers who are equally distributed and designated at the units.
Kisumu’s county government had committed to pay stipends following a community health policy that was reviewed by the council of governors.
As part of capacity building for volunteers and CHW’s, a 13 module curriculum was also developed including 6 basic and 7 technical manual for the community volunteers.
This step will go a long way in the impact created by Universal Healthcare (UHC) which is linked directly to health at the household level through primary health care.
Primary health care encompasses correct health seeking behavior, the correct knowledge about health and wellness, use of clean water for drinking, proper house hold hygiene and excreta disposal and adequate nutrition of a balanced diet, child immunization and monitoring of pregnant women and sufficient mental health and stability and oral health. (Continuum of health care)
One of the challenges under UHC was the decision to pay community health workers a stipend as a way of appreciation to their work in promoting health and providing services to communities.
Numerous arguments and counter have been advanced on the ability to sustain the payment to community health workers since the onset of their usage in 1978 when they started working as volunteers known as CHV’s.
The Kisumu county government realizing their immense value has taken a bold step to begin paying this providing remuneration that will go a long way in incentivizing this cadre of workers to have faith and perform better in their work places.
In Kisumu County the CHW’s form the largest single health work force and have been delivering services pro- bono.
It’s a major land mark in history that the governor will unlock the door of non -payment to this faithful and dedicated workers.
Apart from the stipend the county government is embarking on programs to develop their income generating base to guarantee their adherence and sustainability to the work as well as their medical cover under NHIF.
Angola health center, situated in Kisumu East sub county is a shining example of an integrated development program where practical skills are offered to the community especially the vulnerable groups and knowledge and appropriate attitude change is exchanged and grounded .
Angola is one of the designated places benefitting from food security programs and enterprise programs, clean water provision, early child hood development and youth stroke adolescent empowerment.
The overall result is predictable development of all age groups. This programs will adapt well to the new dispensation of making the villages centers and engines of development within the sub counties in particular and the county overall.
“It our intention to replicate this model in all the sub counties in Kisumu.” Governor Nyongo says.
The community unit structure comprises CHCs, CHVs, CHWs, households, and affiliate health facilities. The nearest health facility is the community’s link for seeking all health services.
The community unit, which draws its membership from the catchment area, is led by the CHC and office personnel to support the CHVs in their community-related health work. Post- devolution, there is increased investment by counties on the community strategy, with revision of the strategy designed to reach communities mainly through employed staff with the support of volunteers (5 CHWs from 2 per 1000 HHs). A community health policy has been drafted and is being reviewed by the Council of Governors.
It seems that all basic preparations have been made and what is remaining is getting consensus and endorsement by MOH and counties with agreed design changes if necessary and scale up to ensure that Kenya is investing more on prevention and promotion. Currently, there are 4587 community units established with 4048 CHWs and 90758 CHVs, and only 7 counties met average of deploying 2 CHWs per county.
There is however need to re-examine and strengthen the community strategy as a means of reaching the community. This should include the mobilization of additional resources for community based interventions and leveraging the use of community health workers in enrolling the population on to the National Hospital Insurance Scheme.
Comprehensive and integrated care for the bulk of the assorted health problems in the community is more efficient than relying on separate services for selected problems, partly because it leads to a better knowledge of the population and builds greater trust.
By Lorraine Anyango
Kisumu Deputy Governor, Dr. Ochieng Owili, joined Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E Mr. Frans Makken for a luncheon meeting at the Capital Club East Africa in Nairobi for a discussion on the Kenya Pooled Water Fund joint initiative.
The discussions focused on ways of opening new funding window for Water Service Providers. Kisumu County government is seeking partnerships for funding to expand water supply within the County.
The meeting was attended by among others Governor Ole Tunai of Narok County, Eddy Njoroge the chairman of KPWF, Embu and Nyeri County Government representatives and USAID officials.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Dr. Patrick Ngugi Njoroge called on the Kisumu Governor, Professor. Anyang’ Nyong’o at his office.
The purpose of this visit was to deliberate on how the County Government of Kisumu and the Central Bank of Kenya can improve services rendered to the County. These included: fast tracking the processes of money transfers, promotion of SME’s among many others.
The County Minister for Finance, Nerry Achar on his part, lauded the Central Bank Kenya for their cooperation with the county
Also present was the Central Bank of Kenya Board Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Nyaoga among other board members.
The Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) is in the process of modernizing Kisumu showground through development and implementation of a master plan to guide developments.
This will be realized through interaction, development collaboration based on mutual understanding between the County and the ASK.
It’s against this backdrop that ASK Board Members called on Kisumu Governor, Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o at his office.
Some of the improvements and investment projects that are envisaged in the master plan includes;
- . Improvement of infrastructure within the showground and it’s surrounding.
- Exposition hall and conference center.
- Sporting arena
- A business incubation center.
- A recreational facility.
- In offensive light industries (value addition).
- A hotel
Establishment of these facilities will go a long way in attracting more events to Kisumu due to availability of facilities, boost urban tourism, boost local revenue, and create employment opportunities thus uplifting the status of Kisumu County.