Kenya is hosting a three-day medical conference and exhibition on the provision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The conference will run between September 24, and September 26, 2019, and has attracted more than 200 exhibitors from 24 countries.
The conference organized by an international event company, Informa Markets, was officially opened by Mr. Stephen Macharia, Deputy Chief Demographer, Ministry of Health on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Ms. Sicily Kariuki.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Macharia lauded the organizers, adding the theme of the conference sits well with the Government’s big 4 agenda. He underscored the role being played by the private sector in complementing the government’s efforts in the provision of accessible and quality healthcare.
“The private sector has over the years built a robust health infrastructure that spans all parts of the country. Private health facilities comprise about 50 percent of all health facilities in Kenya – hence underscoring their integral part of healthcare delivery in the country. The private sector has also been important in the training of the middle-level healthcare workers through their training institutions spread all over the country. This has been critical in supplementing the government colleges that also offer similar courses. As Government and the Ministry, we would like to assure you of our unwavering support as we strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and UHC,” Mr. Macharia said.
Last year, Kenya launched a pilot UHC scheme in four counties: Kisumu, Isiolo, Machakos, and Nyeri. These four counties were chosen because collectively they have a high prevalence of communicable and non-communicable diseases, high population density, high maternal mortality, and high incidence of road traffic injuries. As a result, 91 percent of residents have enrolled in local health insurance schemes.
The big 4 agenda
Informa Markets Exhibition Director Mr. Ryan Sanderson said the three-day conference will create an opportunity for industry players in the healthcare sector to discuss the latest trends in universal health coverage.
“Universal Health coverage is gaining momentum in the regions and given that access to affordable healthcare is one of the Kenyan Government’s Big 4 agenda, we found it compelling to craft this year’s conference and exhibition theme around it. We hope this conference will help shape the dialogue around UHC in Kenya and in the region,” Mr. Sanderson said.
A survey released recently by Infotrak has shown that majority (69%) of Kenyans are not aware of UHC and that awareness of UHC is highest in regions with a UHC pilot county.