Covid-19 Pandemic Might Decelerate Efforts to attain Universal Health Coverage by 2022

Darmi Jattani
Post Date: 30 June 2020

The 2010 constitution created a two-tier governance system with national and county government elements. Embedded within the constitution are interdependent government functions. Health sector responsibilities are shared between the two tiers of government. The National Government is charged with policy formulation, planning and budgeting, capacity building, health research and quality assurance. Health service delivery is left to the county government. 

The government has made a commitment to achieve universal health coverage by the year 2022 and this is embodied in the Big Four Agenda which includes healthcare as one of its key development policies. The Big Four agenda is Kenya’s medium-term socio-economic development plan under the current national administration. Universal health coverage (UHC) is mainly about financing, where the government pays the premium for the insurance cover provided to the people by insurance companies/schemes. The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is the primary implementation institution for UHC.

In efforts to enhance the NHIF’s capacity to deliver the promise of UHC to Kenyans, the national government has introduced several reforms  in the last eight years. The reforms include: the introduction of the civil servants’ scheme, the health insurance subsidy for the poor, revision of monthly contribution rates and expansion of the benefit package and upward revision of provider reimbursement rates. The successful delivery of the NHIF reform will demonstrate Kenya’s ability to efficiently pool revenues to cover for a healthcare package with essential services for all Kenyans, at all ages. This again will enhance confidence to join and invest in NHIF and create opportunities within the health sector to develop new partnership models for the delivery of care which will help the Country to make rapid strides towards the realization of UHC.

The Availability of Masks Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Stephen Jairo
Post Date: 12 June 2020

The novel Coronavirus, now only referred to as COVID-19, continues to wreak havoc across the globe, with the number of infections and deaths on the rise in some territories, while in others, normalcy seems to be setting in. As of 30th May 2020, Kenya had recorded 1,888 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 63 deaths and over 464 recoveries – some good news. Comparatively, both within the continent and with other countries around the world, the situation seems to be getting under control. For Kenya, the government imposed countrywide dawn to dusk curfew, and lockdown for the counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, and Kwale, and the Nairobi metropolitan area, which is in effect until 6th June 2020, when further guidelines will be issued.

Disruption of Covid-19 on the Education System and Learners in Kenya

Winnie Ogejo & Oscar Ochieng
Post Date: 02 June 2020

It is nearly three months since the government announced the closure of schools as a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19. As a result of the decision, a total of 91,591 learning institutions both public and private were closed, disrupting the school calendar and affecting the learners (Learners from poor households have been hit hard by the pandemic as learning has shifted to the digital space). Also affected are learners with special needs. 

The Ministry of Education estimates that there are 16,528,313 learners out of school, from early childhood development education to tertiary students. With less than 10% of learners having access to digital learning materials such computers, ipads, and laptops, while only 18% have access to learning through the internet and 26 % have access to electricity in rural areas showing glaring disparities in home learning as shown in table 1, the situation is worse in public schools in Kenya. Indeed, covid-19 has disrupted the education sector landscape limiting how students can access learning across the country.

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