Government launches policy documents to support primary healthcare

By Agencies

The Ministry of Health on Thursday launched two policy documents to support primary healthcare in the country, as COVID-19 infections in the country increased to 11,673 after 421 more patients tested positive for the disease in the last 24 hours.

Mutahi Kagwe, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Health, said the primary healthcare strategic framework 2019-2024 and community health services policy 2020-2030 will ensure that health services provided are responsive to the specific needs of the community.

“These two documents will bring healthcare closer to people and give broader focus on preventing diseases, promoting healthy behavior and addressing the drivers of ill health,” Kagwe said in a televised news conference from Nakuru, northwest Kenya.

He said that for Kenya’s Universal Health care (UHC) to succeed there has to be a robust primary healthcare that will provide efficient and reliable access to high-quality health services equitably and without the users suffering financial hardships.

The official said that the government is currently working towards 100 percent community health unit coverage nationally adding that the government has already recruited and trained 31,780 community health volunteers.

“This will ensure full coverage of community health services in the country, which will support home-based isolation and care for the COVID-19 pandemic and achievement of UHC,” he added.

According to Kagwe, the community health services policy 2020-2030 will lead to a better leadership and governance of community health services at both national and county levels.

“With these policy documents, we intend to invest more for primary healthcare, for sustainable primary healthcare,” he added.

He said 3,895 tests were conducted within the last 24 hours, taking the total number of tests carried out so far to 230,096.

Kagwe said some 512 patients recovered from the respiratory disease while on home-based care within the last 24 hours while 58 others were discharged from various health facilities, bringing the total number of recoveries to 3,638.

During the period, eight patients succumbed to the disease, bringing the total number of fatalities to 217.

Kagwe urged Kenyans to observe containment measures that he said are the only weapon to fighting the disease.

“If we just unite and cooperate with the government, this disease will be a thing of the past. The ball is squarely in our court. This war is now an individual’s responsibility to take or leave it! I will say no more,” he added.