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Striving Towards Universal Healthcare in Kenya through Innovation

  Feb 16, 2018

“Healthcare is a public good that should be available for all. It is high time the private sector is involved in this conversation,” noted Ms. Beatrice Kinyanjui (Director, Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health-PSP4H) during an informative learning session dubbed ‘Accelerating Affordable healthcare in Kenya using Innovative Models.

Kenya’s health sector has over the past five years undergone restructuring following the devolution of health services in the country. The new framework has posed both opportunities and challenges that determine the quality and effectiveness of overall service delivery.  As a result, there is increased demand for quality, cost-friendly healthcare and availability of innovative service delivery models. In the wake of numerous technological advancements, it is pertinent to answer the question on how Kenya can attain universal healthcare standards. Innovation in healthcare is a trend that needs to be embraced through public private partnerships.

Kenya’s government, through the Ministry of Health has a target of attaining universal healthcare in the next four years. Speaking on the need for disruption in the health sector, Prof. Bitange Ndemo advised that much as it is important for Kenya to benchmark with other countries who have attained universal healthcare, it is more important that innovations are geared towards addressing the healthcare problems in Kenya. “The government has already put in place some initiatives such as free immunization, pro- poor health insurance measures and free maternal healthcare services. This is a clear indication that as a nation, we have begun the journey and will work towards expanding our scope to avail more comprehensive services.” David Kariuki- Head, Policy, Planning and Health Financing- Ministry of Health.

The feasibility research conducted through PSP4H revealed that the most often funded health projects are in maternal health, family planning and HIV/ AIDS; these are just but a small portion of the largely untapped funding areas in healthcare sector. PSP4H therefore exists to create sustainable healthcare business models which strive for a win- win approach, whereby those involved in health businesses are able to get profits out of their businesses even as the consumers get affordable medical treatment.

The DFID/UK Aid funded programme has pioneered the use of market systems approach to enhance health systems in addition to harnessing the capacity of the private sector to provide pro- poor healthcare services.

To read about the lessons learnt from the programme: Click here 

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