Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has launched the Primary Health Care (PHC) Strategic Framework, and the Community Health Policy that recognizes the importance of social determinants of health and focuses on reducing long standing disparities in health.
“Globally, the primary health care approach has been recognised as an effective way of making improvements, in healthcare delivery and addressing the heavy burden of diseases, therefore, contributing to better health, socioeconomic development as well as achieving Universal Health Coverage.” Said Kagwe
He was speaking during his visit Nakuru county Thursday to assess the county’s level of preparedness to handle COVID-19 pandemic, in the accompany of the area Governor Lee Kinyanjui, CAS Health, Dr Aman Rashid and Ag. DG.
He added that Community empowerment is a key target of the primary Health Care approach that was adopted by countries 42 years ago at Alma Ata.
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“This was re-affirmed in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2018, through the Astana Declaration, which Kenya is a signatory to.” He added
He said to support implementation of PHC, the ministry, with support of county governments and partners, has developed the Primary Health Care Strategic Framework 2019-2024.
“ The Government is currently working toward 100% community health units coverage nationally, and to do so, the Ministry of Health has recruited and is training 31,780 community health volunteers. This will ensure full coverage of community health services in the country, which will support home based isolation and care for the COVID-10 pandemic, and achievement of Universal Health Care. ” Said the CS
He noted that the ministry has also developed the Community Health Policy 2020-2030, which will lead to better leadership and governance of community health services at both National and County level.
“The issues that have been addressed in the policy include, recruitment, training and deployment of community health workforce, as well as a stronger and responsive community health information system. With these policy documents, we intend to invest more in primary health care, for sustainable Primary Health Care. Even in the midst of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government continues to focus on providing continues, equitable, accessible and quality essential health care services, which can only be attained through a robust primary health care system.”
He said the Primary Health Care approach, requires us to have a whole-of-society approach to health, which combines multi-sectoral policy and action; empowering people and communities; and integrated health services to enable us to focus on the health and well-being of individuals and communities, and not just on their illness.
“ The launch of the Primary Health Care strategic framework, and the Community Health Policy, demonstrates, the government’s commitment to revitalize the Primary Health Care Systems in Kenya, as a critical pillar in the realization of Universal Health Coverage. ” Noted the CS
421 people tested positive for coronavirus Thursday out of 3,895 samples tested in the past 24 hours. Total confirmed cases now stand at 11,673
512 patients have recovered from the disease while on home-based care within the last 24 hours while another 58 were discharged from various health facilities. Total number of recoveries now stands at 3,638.
Eight more patients have died, taking the number of fatalities to 217.
Earlier, the Chief Administrative Secretary for Health, Dr. Rashid Aman received Videoconferencing equipment from Huawei Kenya to foster real time face to
face communication and interactions without being constrained by physical distances.
“This is the 3rd donation to the ministry that has improved communication, training and coordination during this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Aman.
The teleconferencing system which was delivered by Fiona Pan, Deputy CEO, Public Affairs, Huawei Kenya has been useful in facilitating video calls with experts in China to learn from their experience in managing the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Kenya was the first country in Africa to hold a videoconference with Chinese Ministry of Health, custom officials and others experts using the first donated equipment on 18th March 2020.
The delegation in Kenya included the African Center for Disease Control and more than 20 other Kenyan and African officials and experts. The purpose was to share information on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss the best approaches for prevention and control.