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Economy

Uhuru to pilot universal healthcare in December

hospital
FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has picked four counties that are leading in infectious and communicable diseases to pilot its Universal Health Coverage (UHC) scheme by the end of the year.

President Uhuru Kenyatta today announced the programme will target 3.2 million Kenyans in Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos and Isiolo counties with the aim of providing a host of services currently available in public hospitals.

“Piloting the package in a controlled population ensures less chances of failure and we can minimize the risks when the programme is later scaled up to cover the entire country,” Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily said earlier.

Kisumu leads in infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis while Machakos has the highest number of injuries, mostly from accidents occurring along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Nyeri leads in Diabetes while Isiolo will be a testing ground on how the package is suited for nomadic and migratory populations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta today gave the UHC Inter-Governmental Committee approval to finalise the launch plans and also come up with respective Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) between the Ministry of Health and the four counties.

If successful, the pilot programme in the four counties will give clearance for full rollout of UHC in the remaining 43 devolved units.

Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos and Isiolo now join Makueni which became the first county government to provide free health treatment to its residents when it launched the Universal Healthcare Plan in in September 2016.

UHC is part of an ambitious plan by the national government to provide quality and affordable healthcare to all Kenyans by 2022.

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