By Asma’u Ahmad
Pan African health lobby has called on the Kenyan Government to increase funding for the wellbeing of its citizens in order to achieve the universal health coverage goal by the end of 2022.
Deputy Director of Youth Advocacy Project, at the Nairobi-based Amref Health Africa, Peter Ngure, told an economic forum in Nairobi late Thursday that Kenya was currently investing seven per cent of its annual budget on health.
“There is need for a drastic review to this and at least ensure an increase annually so that health expenditure reaches 15 per cent of national budget.
The 15 per cent of national budget as per the Abuja Declaration of improving the health sector in order for the country to attain its goal of universal health coverage,” Ngure said during a pre-budget hearing on the 2018/2019 financial year.
Ngure said Kenya had integrated universal health coverage as a goal in the national health strategy and entrenched it in the Constitution.
He said that although there have been overall improvement of health indicators in the last decade; the health sector continued to face major challenges.
He said that the challenges were inequitable access to health service and shortage of qualified health workers with appropriate skills.
Ngure noted that the East African nation had nine health workers for every 10,000 people in the population, while the recommended WHO level is 20 health workers per 10,000 people.
“This shows that increased recruitment of health workers as well as improved remuneration and motivation of health personnel should be prioritised,” he added.