The aim is to mitigate against low life expectancy, check high levels of age–specific mortality levels, contain communicable and non-communicable conditions and injuries. The framework is also meant to drive the country’s health towards that of a middle income country, as envisioned in the Vision 2030, and to ensure the sector contributes towards attainment of the right to health as envisioned in the Constitution.
Once complete, the framework will provide guidance across the health spectrum for actions required to attain the country’s overall health goals, cover all aspects of necessary interventions, give appropriate weight to their importance and ensure different policy directions are mutually exclusive, but all contributing to a common over arching agenda. The policy directions are in three areas:
- Policy goal – the over arching focus of the sector
- Policy objectives – the health outcomes that the sector will work towards attaining in order to achieve the policy goal; and
- Policy orientations – how the sector will organise and manage itself to ensure delivery of interventions needed to attain the policy objectives
Despite efforts geared at attaining the country’s health goals, numerous challenges face the sector. They include:
- Inadequate funding to support planned and initiated activities
- Low rate of maternal deliveries at health facilities, despite high ante-natal care (ANC) coverage
- HIV and Aids pandemic
- High poverty levels, which affect affordability of health services and healthcare-seeking behaviour of the population
- Inadequate and uneven distribution of health personnel, which hampers service delivery
- Inadequate health infrastructure.
Despite the challenges, several health sector’s flagship projects are lined up for accomplishment before the end of 2012. They include the plan to revitalise community health centres to promote preventive health care (as opposed to curative intervention) and healthy of individual lifestyles There also plans to delink the Ministry of Health from service delivery to improve the management of the country’s health institutions. The programme entails primarily devolving of health management to communities and healthcare experts at district, county and national hospitals. To promote equity in healthcare financing, a National Health Insurance Scheme has been proposed.
The output-based approach system will be enhanced to enable disadvantaged groups (e.g the poor and the orphans) to access health care from preferred institutions. There are opportunities for investment, particularly at communal level, for integrated health services covering maternal health, family planning, nutrition and other services. The health distribution network is in need of a revamp, especially the infrastructure and provision of medical goods and services. With the shortage of trained medical personnel and delivery of mobile health services to remote areas, there is need to enhance training and inject innovation in the delivery of health services. There are also multiple research opportunities to identify capacity gaps and innovation opportunities across the entire health system, and provision of specialised treatment of cancers, kidney conditions and various lifestyle diseases.
To attract investors in the pharmaceutical industry, the Government has initiated investor-friendly offers with attractive incentives to export oriented investors, and generous investment and capital allowances. As a result, South African drug maker Adcock Ingram is considering further expansion into East Africa following its successful venture into exporting and distributing drugs within the key market of Kenya. The population of Kenya’s middleclass continues to grow, resulting in increased demand for quality healthcare services, especially by private health providers.