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KENYA: Kisumu launches 2-year strategic plan to scale up preventative healthcare


KISUMU, Kenya, Nov 22 — Kisumu County Government has developed a primary health care strategy that shifts much focus to preventive care with partners calling for more allocation of funds to realize the dream.

The two-year strategy is an adoption of the Kenya Primary Healthcare Target Framework 2019-2024.

Dr. Kennedy Otieno, the county senior assistant director of Medical Services, Tuesday said about 80 per cent of diseases can be dealt with at the household level.

“What is striking about this strategy is the radical shift from curative health care into preventive and promotive health care which should be done at individual, household and at community levels,” he said.

Otieno said the hospitals will still be active offering curative services but the majority of the diseases should be dealt with at the lowest level.

The Lead Partner in the development of the strategy, Patricia Orao, Executive Director of Shitawisha –DADA (STADA), said health should be a concern for every Kenyan.

Speaking to the press during the launch of the primary healthcare strategy in Kisumu, Orao said the strategy seeks to ensure that every person at the family level takes control of their lives to avoid spending too much at the curative stage.

“Nobody will come to you to open your windows, wash your hands and have your children vaccinated,” she said.

She noted that the strategy that will run from 2022-2024 seeks to entrench behavioral change at the community level as a way of encouraging preventive care.

“This strategy looks at how we devolve health care, how we remove healthcare from the hospital and take it to the community,” she said.

Whereas the county government of Kisumu asserts enough resources have been allocated over the years allocated for the preventive, Orao said much need to be pumped into the preventive care unit.

She said the county still has a long way to go in terms of prevention and promotion of health by prioritizing primary healthcare above curative.

“If you look at our budget, you find out that less than 10 percent goes to the promotion of healthcare and prevention of diseases, which is problematic because we end up spending alot of money treating when we could be spending less,” she said.

Dr. Otieno, however, said the county has been putting enough resources for preventive care since devolution, noting that the sector has attracted many partners.

He said the county will continue to strengthen the current curative infrastructures as it progressively strengthens the primary health care networks.

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