The state has embarked on the journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), whose main objective is to improve access to equitable, high quality essential health services, in line with SDG 3.8.
Speaking on Monday in Kisumu during the Non-communicable diseases stakeholders forum, Health CAS Dr. Rashid Aman said the government has embarked on the UHC journey while ensuring that those seeking these services do not predispose individuals & households to financial hardship.
“Towards actualization of these UHC aspirations, the country has prioritized primary health care not only to improve access to services, but also reduce the cost of seeking care by reducing travel costs,” said Aman.
To this end, the Ministry of Health recently launched the National Primary Health Care Framework 2019-2023, the Community Health Policy 2020-2030, reviewed Community Health Strategy and Primary Care Networks Guidelines.
Dr Aman added that the Government has embarked on major reforms at National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to ensure financial risk protection. Further, user fee at primary care level was abolished to ensure cost is not a barrier to care at this level.
He noted that care for NCDs has traditionally been offered at higher levels of care, which is a major barrier access.
“As a Ministry, we are turning the tide on this, with one of the key priorities of the NCD Strategic Plan being integration of NCD care into Primary Health Care,” he said.
Non-Communicable Diseases are a growing public health threat, accounting for 39 per cent of deaths in the country.
It is also projected that they will account for half of all mortality by the year 2030.
In 2016, NCDs led to an estimated Ksh. 230 billion in economic losses equivalent to 3.4 percent of GDP. Majority of patients suffering from NCDs are forced to incur out-of-pocket expenditure for clinical reviews, investigations and treatment.
The four targeted NCDs under Primary Integrated Care for 4 Chronic Diseases (PIC4C) project also happen to be the ones that impose the greatest health burden among our people.
Through this project, 73 facilities in Busia and Trans Nzoia Counties have been activated to offer these priority services, with close to 400 health workers, 1,130 Community Health Volunteers and 81 peer educators trained. This has resulted in the screening of over 170,000 people for hypertension, 91,000 for diabetes, 20,000 for cervical cancer and 17,000 for breast cancer.