Daraus Bukenya

 {Photo credit: Anteneh Lemma/MSH}The Health for All Campaign in Kenya is hosting a series of debates on universal health coverage.Photo credit: Anteneh Lemma/MSH

“I wish I had called this event,” said Mr. Simone Ole Kirgotty, CEO of Kenyan National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). This came as a surprise to many since the CEO was bombarded with critical questions and comments about the activities of the organization he has been leading for the last two years. “If it was new for me to lead such a controversial organization, I would have run away after all these comments,” added Mr. Kirgotty cheerfully.

It was during a public debate in Nairobi, organized by the Health for All: Campaign for Universal Health Coverage in Africa (Health for All Campaign), that the CEO of Kenya NHIF made these remarks. The debate, entitled: “Improving Communications to Scale up Public Engagement with NHIF: Challenges and Prospects,” was part of a series of debates being conducted in seven counties in Kenya. As highlighted by Dr. Daraus Bukenya, Country Representative for MSH Kenya, the major objective of the debates is to get clarity on NHIF activities, to create a platform for community engagement, and to identify and put together recommendations to NHIF to work toward universal health coverage in Kenya. The first debate was held on November 17, 2014 in Nyeri.

 {Photo credit: Juliette Mutheu/MSH}Dr John Masasabi, Director of Policy, Planning and Health Care Financing, Kenya Ministry of Health, giving the keynote address at the launch.Photo credit: Juliette Mutheu/MSH

As a government we cannot work alone. However, it is important that those contributing to achieving the government’s vision of a healthy Kenya be guided by standards that encourage them to provide a certain level of quality that is acceptable and desirable.

These were the words of Dr. John Masasabi, the director of policy, planning and health care financing in Kenya’s Ministry of Health, as he launched the Institutional Strengthening Standards for Kenyan Civil Society Organisations, organized by the USAID-funded FANIKISHA Institutional Strengthening Project, led by MSH in partnership with Pact, Danya International, and the African Capacity Alliance.

The event took place at the AMREF Headquarters & International Training Center Grounds in Nairobi, Kenya on February 18, 2014.

 {Photo credit: USAID}Lisa McGregor-Mirghani (right), Local Capacity Team Lead for USAID in Kenya, speaking at the Institutional Strengthening Symposium in Nairobi. Dr. Daraus Bukenya (center) and colleagues also participated on the panel.Photo credit: USAID

This post originally appeared on USAID's IMPACT Blog.

Under its 2010 constitution, Kenya’s major reforms include a devolved government in which civil society organizations (CSOs) have an enhanced contribution to strengthening health and social systems. The reforms are timely, as other donor mandates, such as USAID Forward, also place greater emphasis on country-led, country-driven development assistance, with more direct investment in partner governments and local organizations, and stronger public-private partnerships. To achieve these mandates, local capacity must be developed so that these institutions can play their part.

{Photo credit: MSH}Photo credit: MSH

At the Devex Partnerships Forum, being held today in Nairobi, Kenya, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) urged the private sector to collaborate with health institutions to improve management, enable better service delivery, and lower the cost of healthcare in Kenya.

With the healthcare service being devolved to counties in Kenya, a number of challenges exist, such as unequal distribution of human and material resources to health facilities. This strains the governance of the institutions as the few personnel are stretched, handling large clientele as well as administration.

MSH partnered with higher learning institutions to develop curriculums on leadership and governance which can be pursued by health workers. Such leadership curriculums will assist stakeholders to ensure the right people are employed for the right job.

Watch MSH Kenya: Envisioning A World Where Everyone in Kenya Has the Opportunity for a Healthy Life

 {Photo credit: MSH}Kenyan youth holds AIDS education pamphlet.Photo credit: MSH

The Kenya National AIDS and STI Control program (NASCOP) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) disseminated preliminary results of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) 2012 on September 10, 2013. The dissemination conference was attended by all major stakeholders in the HIV and AIDS response in Kenya, including Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

The second such report, the KAIS 2012 (PDF) provides national data in comparison with the first survey in 2007.  Overall, huge improvements have been made, despite the remaining challenges and the gender, age group and geographical disparities that have persisted.  Adult HIV prevalence dropped from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 5.6 percent in 2012. The total number of people living with HIV is now estimated at 1.2 million, down from 1.4 million in 2007. Among children 18 months to 15 years, the prevalence was estimated at less than one percent (0.9 percent), which translates into about 104,000 children living with HIV in 2012. 

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