25 September 2023
Nairobi — The Government has embraced a new paradigm shift in the provision of basic healthcare and medical services to Kenyans.
President William Ruto said the fight against diseases, especially preventable ones, can only be won if more time and resources are devoted to preventive medicine.
Speaking during the flagging off of community health promoters kits at the Uhuru Park grounds, Nairobi, on Monday, President Ruto said the new focus was key to promotion of preventive and promotive healthcare in the country.
He said for decades, success in relieving citizens of the huge burden of human suffering and financial distress caused by illness has been elusive.
“The main reason for this is that our health system devoted itself exclusively to the provision of curative services and primary healthcare, and gave minimal attention to preventive and promotive health interventions that begin at home often before the onset of serious illness,” said President Ruto.
The Head of State noted that the community health promoters will be facilitated to provide a defined package of preventive and promotive health services at the household level.
“Each promoter is mandated to serve 100 homes, and will be provided with basic equipment for household health screening,” he said.
President Ruto said 100,000 community health promoters kits will be provided by the national government through the Ministry of Health, together with smart phones to make them reachable.
He said ‘this will enable them’ to transmit and receive necessary information, instruction and advice.
President Ruto, at the same time, said the national government shall also take responsibility for the remuneration in the form of stipends for the 100,000 community health promoters who will work in each of our 47 counties.
“By launching the essential kits to equip community health promoters, we are making a bold statement of our intent to take a big step towards winning our nation’s long-standing struggle for freedom from disease using a bottom up strategy,” said President Ruto.
He said the programme will also help in the registration of all households in the country.
“I want to assure you that what we are doing is not a guesswork but a proper health plan that will ensure the promotion of preventive healthcare as opposed to the curative one,” said President Ruto.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said universal healthcare was among the pillars in the Kenya Kwanza manifesto.
He assured Kenyans that the Government has put in place proper mechanisms ahead of the impending El nino rains.
“I convened a meeting of the national emergency response committee last week to check on the level of our preparedness to deal with challenges that might arise because of El nino rains,” said Mr Gachagua.
Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi said the new paradigm shift will go a long way in promoting preventive healthcare.
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha said said the kits will alleviate the suffering that people have in accessing health services at the grassroots.
Chairperson of Council of Governors Anne Waiguru said counties will collaborate with the national government in ensuring successful implementation of the program.
“We fully remain committed to the programme by allocating resources to ensure its sustainability,” said Ms Waiguru.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Committee Robert Pukose and his Senate counterpart Jackson Mandago said they were ready to pass the bills on the programme into law to ensure successful implementation of the programme.
“We are now engaging in public hearings on the bills so as to table them with a view to passing them into law,” said Dr Pukose.
Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja praised the programme, saying it would help reduce funds spend in the curative healthcare.
The function was attended by more than 24 Governors among other leaders. – Presidential Communication Service