Over the past few months, Kenya has prioritized universal health coverage (UHC) in its development agenda, led by President William Ruto and the Ministry of Health in Kenya. President Ruto’s recent commissioning of 100,000 fully equipped Community Health Promoters (CHPs) was a positive demonstration of political commitment toward UHC from the country’s leadership.
With its global commitment to UHC by 2030, PATH Kenya has been matching the strong political commitment by supporting the Ministry of Health in Kenya to develop and strengthen UHC policies, transform digital health, and ensure health commodity security. Read more here on PATH Kenya’s support of UHC.
As a culmination of this support, PATH Kenya joined other health partners to showcase its programs during a week-long Universal Health Coverage Expo that ran October 15–19, 2023, in Kapkatet, Kericho County, Kenya. During the expo, the Ministry of Health and partners showcased health products, health technologies, and health information systems that include digitization, innovation, and technology, along with health care financing.
PATH Kenya exhibited its various programs across a range of thematic areas, including immunization, innovation and technology, maternal and child health, and market dynamics. Visitors to the PATH booth were enthused by PATH’s commitment to health innovation and health equity that is strongly aligned to UHC.
The expo was followed by a formal relaunch of UHC that saw President Ruto sign into law four bills designed to provide a legal and institutional framework for a revamped health care system in Kenya.
The enactment of these laws—the Primary Health Care Act, 2023; the Digital Health Act, 2023; the Facility Improvement Financing Act, 2023; and the new Social Health Insurance Act, 2023—will provide the legal and institutional framework to implement UHC in Kenya and transform Kenya’s health care system.
The expo was also peppered with high-level panel discussions focused on Primary Health Care and Service Delivery (Primary Health Care Network), Digital Health Innovations and Solutions, Human Resources for Health (HRH): Fit for Purpose Health Workforce for Delivery of UHC, and Health Financing Reforms for affordable, equitable, and high-quality care for all Kenyans.
Ms. Carolyne Njuguna, PATH Kenya Country Director and East Africa Regional Hub Director, led the panel discussions on digital health innovations and solutions that explored the role of digital health as a vital catalyst for UHC. The panel, comprising Hon. Harry Kimtai, Permanent Secretary, State Department of Medical Services at Ministry of Health; Hon. Irungu Kang’ata, Murang’a County Governor; Prof. Olive Mugenda, Board Chair, Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital; Thomas Opiyo, Country Director for Living Goods; and Dr. Sandifin Ayienda, Medical Superintendent of Shibwe Sub-County Hospital, delved into a compelling [YL1] discussion on how digital tools can boost Kenya’s aspirations for UHC.
“We explored the far-reaching benefits for all stakeholders, from ordinary citizens to health care professionals, including standardizing quality of health care, the pivotal role of real-time data for informed decisions, resource-trackin”— Carolyne Njuguna, East Africa Hub and the PATH Kenya Country Director
On a global front, PATH is working to accelerate progress toward UHC by contributing to demand-driven innovations, secure paperless health systems, sustainable integrated health services, and locally produced medicines and devices.
As a long-standing and responsive health partner in the country, PATH Kenya will continue working with partners, communities, and the government of Kenya to implement the tenets of the UHC laws in line with PATH’s vision of advancing health equity through innovation and partnerships.