25th July 2016…The Council of Governors (COG) has today signed an MOU with health NGO Amref Health Africa to support health care development in the counties. Amref has already committed a budget of US$38 million (Ksh3.8 billion) to improve health and health care services across all 47 counties in Kenya this year, with a focus on reaching communities and households where the need is greatest, and especially women and children.
The MOU establishes a framework of formal cooperation between the COG and Amref in the following areas: Training in health; Consultancy services in health; Support healthcare service delivery; Support governance in health; Support commodities and technology in health, including electronic and mobile solutions; and Community engagement.
This MOU is important because it mandates Amref Health Africa to continue serving Kenyans as it has for the past six decades. We expect that by establishing a formal framework of working closely with the devolved units of government, we will be more efficient and strategic in improving health outcomes together,” said Dr Meshack Ndirangu, Country Director for Amref Health in Africa in Kenya.
A key component in the MOU is training, where the counties will leverage Amref’s expertise in building capacity of county health workers to plug the skills deficit at the county level,” he added.
Besides its training courses for professional health workers, Amref has also developed several innovative technological solutions for training, supervising and facilitating the work of community health workers, including the recently launched Leap platform, which has helped to greatly improve health outcomes and services in counties where it has been piloted. Kenya currently has about 50,000 community health workers, 15,600 of whom have been trained and supported by Amref.
“The County governments, under the auspices of the COG, will give Amref the organisational support it needs to create strong linkages between the community and the formal health system,” said Governor Peter Munya, Chairman of the Council of Governors, adding that: “Health is now a devolved function and counties will need partnerships with institutions such as Amref to deliver value to the people.”
Many counties, particularly in hard-to-reach areas, suffer an acute shortage of physicians, nurses and medical specialists, making the MOU between COG and Amref even more relevant as one of the things that it seeks to do is establish specialist medical consortia with the counties which will ensure access to affordable specialist medical services for the citizens. The MOU denotes progress on the part of the county governments, which have been working hard, despite budget constraints, to deliver quality health services to the residents of the counties.