Kenyan campaigners root for youth inclusion in universal health agenda

by Amref Health Africa
NAIROBI, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) — Kenya should tap into innovations from the youth to revitalize progress towards attainment of universal health coverage, campaigners said on Wednesday.

Githinji Gitahi, chief executive officer of Amref Health Africa, said that inclusion of youth in strategic areas like grassroots advocacy is key to realizing universal health coverage that is part of Kenya’s Big Four Agenda.

“The youth of this country represents a formidable demographic that should be engaged fully in promotion of universal health coverage,” said Gitahi.

“We therefore need to build the capacity of the youth to undertake advocacy aimed at re-orienting our policy and funding goals towards universal access to quality and affordable healthcare,” he added.

Gitahi spoke in Nairobi during the launch of a road caravan that will traverse Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to raise awareness on the critical role of universal health coverage in the boarder sustainability agenda.

Amref Health Africa and partners launched the road caravan ahead of the Africa Health Agency International Conference that will be held in the Rwandese capital Kigali from March 3 to 4 where over 300 youths from the continent will lobby for their inclusion in the universal health care agenda.

Gitahi said that hundreds of youths who will participate in the caravan will engage communities and opinion leaders to inject fresh momentum towards realization of health for all goal.

“Countries in the region have an opportunity to rally young people towards achievement of universal health agenda that is key to spark prosperity,” said Gitahi.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta earlier this year launched universal health coverage pilot programs in four counties grappling with a heavy burden of vector borne and non-communicable diseases.

The rollout of universal health coverage program across the country is expected to address capacity, infrastructural and funding gaps that have undermined access to quality healthcare services.

This article first appeared here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-02/27/c_137855386.htm.

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