Strengthening Primary Health Care in Kenya through Policies

by Amref Health Africa

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the county governments and Amref Health Africa, among other partners, developed policy documents that are expected to support counties in strengthening Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery and attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya. The documents are – Primary Care Networks (PCN) Guidelines, Advocacy, Communication and Community Engagement (ACCE) Framework, Community Health Volunteers Training and Certification Guidelines, Community Health Committee (CHC) Curriculum, Kenya Master Community Health List, and Community Score Card Guidelines.

The PHC guidelines will assist counties in resource mobilisation, stakeholder engagement and transformative implementation of Primary Health Care, while Certification ensures recognition, career progression and retention of CHVs for successful implementation of PHC. CHC will help to improve governance of community health and linkages between community and healthcare facilities, while the Score Card shall promote social accountability at level 1 to 3 facilities. This means better service delivery for communities.

Dr Meshack Ndirangu, speaking during the Launch of the PHC policy documents

While speaking at the launch of the policy documents on 10th February 2022 at Safari Park hotel, the Country Director, Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Dr Meshack Ndirangu congratulated the Ministry of Health for the great milestones the country had achieved in strengthening healthcare in the communities. “We congratulate the ministry for the great work in developing the policy documents. Amref Health Africa remains deeply committed to supporting implementation after the launch today. As you know, community health work remains at the heart of our organisation,” he said. He called upon all counties to adopt the policy documents and develop implementation frameworks for each, and increase sustainable and equitable domestic financing for primary health including community health.

On his part, Dr Andrew Mulwa, the Ag. Director of Medical Services/Preventive & Promotive Health Services added that the responsibility of implementing the policy documents is bestowed on the county governments. He also emphasised the need to engage relevant stakeholders in the counties to help in the implementation of the policies.

Dr Simon Kibias, who gave the official speech on behalf of the Director General of Health, Dr Patrick Amoth, mentioned that PHS will cover about 80% of an individual’s health care needs during their life course, as the most effective way of managing healthcare challenges since it goes beyond just managing the illness but begins with embracing health promotion and disease prevention. He reiterated the ministry’s commitment to ensuring social accountability in quality healthcare through the community scorecard. He appealed to key partners to support the implementation of the policies.

Amref Health Africa, through the support of the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, ELMA and the Global Fund, continues to support various counties in instituting policies that are aimed at strengthening capacity to deliver primary healthcare for deserving communities.

Dr Simon (left) and Dr Mulwa (right) while displaying a sample of the newly launched PHS Policy Documents.

Author: Erick Achola, Communications Manager, Content and Multi-Media Engagement at Amref Health Africa

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