Publish Date : Nov 20, 2018

THE BIG LAUNCH : UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE

UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE SET TO BE LAUNCHED ON 1ST DECEMBER 2018

Universal Health Coverage (also called universal health care) a health care system that delivers health care and financial protection to all citizens of a particular country.

Universal health care does not imply coverage for all people for everything. Universal health care can be determined by three critical dimensions: who is covered, what services are covered, and how much of the cost is covered. It is described by the World Health Organization as a situation where citizens can access health services without incurring financial hardship. The Director General of WHO describes universal health coverage as the “single most powerful concept that public health has to offer” since it unifies “services and delivers them in a comprehensive and integrated way”

In Kenya, at least 3.2 million people in four counties will be the first beneficiaries of a new health package being developed by the Government. The health benefit package, under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programme was expected to be running by July 2018, and will be containing a review of the current programmes being accessed by Kenyans.

This new package is in line with a Gazette notice dated June 8, 2018 by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki that unveiled a 17-member panel mandated to come up with the new package in 60 days. The panel is chaired Prof Gilbert Kokwaro, who said all Kenyans should have access to the new package before 2022. The 3.2 million beneficiaries will come from Kisumu, Isiolo, Nyeri and Machakos counties. Kariuki said the decision to pilot the programme in these counties was evidence-based on disease burden in the areas. For Kisumu, it is because it leads in the high number of infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, while Machakos hospital visits are mostly because of accidents and injuries. Nyeri is leading in cases of non-communicable diseases, especially diabetes, and Isiolo is meant to see how the package will work among the nomadic population, said the CS. “Piloting the package in a controlled population ensures less chances of failure and we can minimise the risks when the programme will later be scaled up to the whole population,” she said.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to launch the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot programme on December, 1 2018, opening the door for over three million Kenyans to enjoy high quality, free medical services. The launch which will coincide with the World Aids Day will be a major stride in the president’s bid to actualize his legacy-shaping Big Four agenda


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