By Shadrack Musumba
Health Nongovernmental Organizations Network (HENNET) an umbrella for health civil society organizations has urged the Kenyan government to put more funds on Primary Health Care(PHC) as many Kenyans to date succumb to preventable and treatable diseases.
HENNET argues that PHC is not just the provision of first-contact personal health care services, or a set of priority health interventions for low-income populaces, as it had stood misleadingly reinterpreted in the last 40 years, following the agreement of the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978 but entails meeting citizen’s health needs throughout their lives; addressing the wider elements of health through multi-sectoral policy as well as action and empowering people, families, and societies to take control of their health.
The CEO for HENNET Dr. Mercy Onsando has called on the government to focus on preventive and promotive health than curative health this Madaraka Day.
She stated that the Kenyan government has budgeted very little on preventive measures while curative measures gets over 90% percent of the share annually.
“PHC has vast number of benefits including improved quality of care, early management of health conditions, quality of primary care, reduced cost of health services and death cases. I’m calling upon the Kenyan Government to enhance PHC structures and implement the policies and plans developed recently and address the health system gaps that were identified during the Universal Health Care( UHC) pilot as the gaps would hinder the success of PHC,” she said.
She also urged the government to allocate sufficient services to PHC programs in Kenya.
The government should consider allocating 1% of its GPD and sustain this percentage as most of the PHC services in Kenya are funded by donors we need the Kenyan government to transit to domestic financing for PHC programs.
The health sector should increase its attention on preventive and promotive services.
Dr. Onsando said,”Relief the citizens from the burden of financing PHC services by ensuring that all the PHC services are included in the essential services package that should be 100% catered by NHIF. The government to promote community empowerment focusing on prevention and promotive measures and give attention to the Community Health Workers and Volunteers(CHWs/ CHVs) needs. These workers should be motivated and be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and equipment needed to have them support PHC work at the community level. The Community Health Workers need to be motivated by increasing their stipend. The stipend should be at least Kes. 10000 per month and should be standard for all the counties.”
HENNET has also called upon citizens to play their part in regards to health services including prevention protocols such as washing hands, staying in clean environments as well as taking balanced diet.