The provision of affordable healthcare is a challenge that will need to be highly prioritised this year.
Universal health coverage (UHC) is among the ‘Big Four Agenda’ pillars. The others are food security, affordable housing and manufacturing. Indeed, without healthcare, it will not be easy to achieve the rest.
The success of UHC will partly be determined by support from donors, including the World Bank.
Good progress has been made in delivering affordable quality healthcare to all Kenyans.
The apparent misgivings notwithstanding, healthcare is a devolved function, hence the key role the counties are expected to play in it.
A pilot programme in four counties has been an eye opener to the colossal challenges ahead.
As Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has explained, UHC simply means that all Kenyans can get quality health services where and when they need them, and without suffering huge financial hardships.
The assurance by President Kenyatta that the rollout of the programme is on course and that it will definitely be completed, as promised by the government, is encouraging.
According to the President, many families are burdened by heavy medical bills due to poverty and other challenges.
The government is also wooing the private sector to work with it to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the SDG 3, on good health and well-being, which is a vital driver, indicator and outcome of sustainable development.
There are other initiatives, including telemedicine, which enables people in remote rural areas to access medication and improve their health.
The other is the use of drones to deliver medical supplies to those areas.
Increased access to affordable healthcare for all is a healthy goal that all must join hands to achieve.
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