First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has challenged governments to invest more resources in public health nursing so as to achieve aspirations of high quality healthcare provision for all.
The First Lady spoke during the official opening of the 5th Global Network for Public Health Nursing Conference at a Nairobi hotel on Tuesday, May 14.
According to PesaCheck, a fact checking company, Kenya’s allocation to the health sector has been increasing every fiscal year, rising, for instance, from about Sh5.2 billion in 2001-02 to Sh34.4 billion in 2008-09.
In the current fiscal year, Kenya allocated around Sh60.9 billion for healthcare services, compared to Sh60.3 billion in 2016-17. This is projected to increase in the medium term to Sh61.9 billion and Sh62.7 billion for 2018-19 and 2019-20, respectively, PesaCheck notes.
PesaCheck says Kenya is spending an average of 7.1 per cent of its budget on the health sector as a total of the allocations made by the national and the county governments.
The First Lady expressed her gratitude that the country has intensified the training, development and deployment of nurses. She said public health nursing is central to the functioning of any health system and should therefore be adequately resourced in terms of manpower, equipment and continuous capacity building.
Her comments, however, a damning by National Assembly Committee on Health report that shows the four national referral hospitals in the country are in a sorry state and the quality of services they offer does not meet international standards.
The report highlighted lack of equipment and facilities, inadequate and qualified manpower, leaking roofs and cracked walls, all of which are blamed on poor funding by the national government.
The report followed visits to the biggest referral facility in East and Central Africa Kenyatta National Hospital, Mathari National Teaching and Referral Hospital, National Spinal Injury Referral Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.
There has also been a series of health workers’ strikes, including nurses, over allowances and unfulfilled CBA.