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Health sector receives KES 5.2B from World Bank

23 January 2014, 13:26 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The World Bank has approved a grant of KES 5.2 billion to help improve the country’s health sector.

Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary, James Macharia said the funds will go towards assisting needy Kenyans to access health and nutrition services.

“This donation was approved in December 2013 will be disbursed through County governments as part of the devolution process for the health sector to help poor families get access to health services,” said Macharia.

“The initial funding has supported reforms for improving the delivery of essential health services especially to poor Kenyans. The government targets to improve health and nutrition services for 35 million Kenyans by 2016, with 50 percent of them being women,” he added.

Macharia stated that the national government will engage County governments in devolving the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for more Kenyans to be covered.

He noted that government statistics show that out of the country’s 42 million people, only 3.8 million are covered by NHIF thus the  need involve County governments in the scheme.

He further said the project will support health insurance subsidies for the poor in the first phase of Kenya’s universal health coverage to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The Cabinet Secretary assured that the government will partner with World Bank to improve the country's 293 public hospitals through technical support.

Ramana Gandham, the World Bank’s Lead Health Specialist for Kenya said the project will help to build the country’s health capacity in identifying and managing key priorities in their ongoing processes of decentralization.

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