Kisumu County through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, yesterday sensitized key stakeholders on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) implementation at Acacia Hotel in Kisumu.
Kisumu is one of the four Counties identified for piloting of the UHC program. The others include: Machakos, Nyeri and Isiolo.
According to the County CEC for Health and Sanitation, Dr. Rosemary Obara, the main objectives for the sensitization was to equip leaders and partners with the needed knowledge on implementation of the UHC program, facilitate exchange of views and also ensure access to quality health services for all without financial hardships.
She reiterated the fact that all stakeholders including the Members of the County Assembly, County government , National government together with the private sector need to work together to realize affordable health care.
UHC has three key elements: equity in access to healthcare in terms of geographic coverage and the range of available health services; high quality health services; and financial protection against any hardship to users of health services which may arise from out-of-pocket payments.
Dr. Obara also highlighted key areas the county has achieved in terms of improving access to health care. One being operationalizing maternity theaters in all sub counties to reduce referrals and mortalities.
The mobilization started officially in November last year. The County has so far registered 306,697 households with a total of 887,038 persons being captured which reflects 75% above the estimated number of 250,000.
The County director, Dr. Dickens Onyango, highlighted that since the mop up exercise began, the County has had an influx in the number of people seeking for health services in the County hospitals increase significantly with 82% increase in outpatient workload.
The County was allocated Kshs. 217,383,080 in the first half, and it has already spent Kshs. 158,242,582 which reflects 72.79% expenditure of its allocation in just the first quarter.
Other presentations included Health and Nutrition Contingency Plan 2019, Systems Responsiveness to UHC which included cost containment measures and UHC dashboard.
The county is looking forward to addressing human resource deficits which has been brought about by the high enrolment of residents on the program, ensuring adequate commodity supplies in laboratory and pharmaceuticals, expand capacity of existing facilities and also to ensure funds flow, efficiency and accountability.
Other key stakeholders who attended the sensitization were representatives from the National government Ministry of Health, Kisumu County Assembly, and Members of the Health Committee, NHIF, and Community health workers among others.
By Enose Ambani and Felix Nyabala