TODAY was a momentous day for the people of Kakamega County as the governor, H.E. Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya officially launched an ambitious universal health coverage (UHC) programme targetting 60% of vulnerable people currently uncovered by NHIF.

The County government of Kakamega has committed to meet all registration expenses for the target group in year one and scale it down to 50% in the second year.

Addressing hundreds of wananchi at Bukhungu Stadium, governor Oparanya said universal health coverage can only succeed through involvement of all the 47 counties in the country because they have the requisite structures and capacity to serve wananchi at the grassroot level.

He also said its success was dependent upon reforming the key public institutions at the centre of the programme – NHIF and the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa).

Kakamega County government, Hon. Oparanya said, has initiated a multi-pronged strategy to implement the programme including the ongoing NHIF registration of people in each of the 12 sub counties; revamping primary health care facilities; improved medical supply chain to ensure all health facilities have timely and adequate supply of drugs; expansion of the scope and coverage of the _Imarisha Afya ya Mama na Mtoto (Oparanya Care); proper training of community health workers and proper documentation to accurately identify deserving cases and stave off corruption.

He also said the national government’s Huduma Namba registration would go a long way in correctly identifying the target groups for UHC.

The governor presented a cheque for over Kshs 50 million to NHIF towards medical insurance coverage for 8,840 Kakamega residents.

Before the address by H.E. the governor the Deputy Governor H.E. Prof. Philip Museve Kutima and CECM for Health Services, Madam Rachel Okumu welcomed the UHC programme and encouraged wananchi to register in large numbers.

The programme partners including Amref Health Africa, NHIF (represented by Mr. Bernard Kirui) and i-Push (Innovative Partnership for Universal and Sustainable Healthcare – represented by Ms. Alice Machichi) were recognized for the successful launch.

Also present were Kakamega County First Lady, H.E. Priscilla Oparanya, almost all CECMs and Chief Officers, the chairperson of the County Public Service Board, Madam Rodah Masaviru, the chairman of the health committee of the County Assembly, Hon. Radoli Ochami, the County Secretary and Head of Public Service, Madam Jacinta Aluoch Odhiambo, Heads of County Agencies – Madam Ebby Kavai and Mr. Kulati Wangia, Advisors and MCAs.

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