World Bank urges Kenya to increase investments in health sector

February 24, 2015 10:45 am 

NAIROBI, Feb. 24 — The World Bank on Monday called on Kenya to increase its investment in the health sector to march it with the country's potential.

The Head of the World Bank Group's Health in Africa Initiative Khama Rogo said the East African nation's lack of serious investment in the health sector has serious implications for the country's urgent health care problems.

"The lack of investment where only about 5 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GPD) has been invested in health has serious implications for the country's urgent health care problems," Rogo said.

"Now is the time to move away from writing impressive strategic plans to the implementation stage so that whatever has been put on paper can be actualized," Rogo said.

Rogo made the remarks on Monday during the opening session of the five-day Kenya Health and Leadership Congress in Nairobi that aims to ensure that devolution of health services from the central government to the county government is put into operation.

Kenya decentralized the services of the health sector to its 47 counties, following the enactment of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 that transferred authority in the management and decision-making from national to sub-national levels.

"Devolution of health services must be made to work. It is not about doctors and nurses but should be all inclusive, so do not fight it," Rogo said.

The World Bank official said that decentralization of health services in the country was a demand by Kenyans who considered it a panacea for the woes of their health care systems.

Kenyan Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri emphasized that all Kenyans must play their role to ensure devolution works.

"As Kenya rolls towards becoming a middle-income country by 2030, people should not be perishing from preventable conditions like diarrhea, cholera, and mothers dying during child birth," Muraguri said.

"Devolution has changed situations where people would be carted to health facilities on wheelbarrows or carried in their beds to seek treatment to the use of ambulances, because many county governments have given priority to the purchase of ambulances to provide relief services," Muraguri said.

During the occasion, several documents were launched that seek to guide the sector on how to transform healthcare in a devolved system.

Key among the documents is the Kenya Health Sector Strategic Plan (2014-2018) which outlines the objectives and priorities to enable the sector to move towards attainment of the health goals described in Kenya's constitutional and strategic imperatives. (PNA/Xinhua)

LAM/EBP

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