Across Kenya, new county governments are finalizing their 5-year development plans. For many Governors this is the opportunity to include campaign promises and deliver development that will impact lives of their citizens.
On Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day 2022, leaders from grassroots civil society organizations in Nairobi asked Nairobi Governor, H.E Johnson Sakaja to put Universal Health Coverage programme at the core of his work.
“During the campaign period, Community Health Volunteers in Nairobi held a meeting with Sakaja and he committed to support the work we do. One of his promises was that his government will invest in the training of CHVs to build skills as frontline health workers.”
Says Martha Mwanza, a community health volunteer from Kamukunji constituency.
The grassroots civil society organizations under the umbrella MNH Coalition of Kenya highlights that already a lot of progress has been done in Nairobi on strengthening community health strategy programme. CHVs are an important pillar when providing services, they create demand for Antenatal Services (ANC) targeting pregnant women and girls and referring mothers for skilled birth attendance.
As Nairobi County is finalizing its County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) 2023-2027, MNH Coalition hopes it will address key challenges facing access to quality health services which is availability of essential commodities in public health facilities. MNH Coalition asks the county to ensure a steady supply of commodities- including lifesaving commodities such as uterotonics, iron folate and Vitamin A. On commodity availability, availability of family planning commodities can help reduce the high rate of unplanned pregnancies among girls age 15-19 years in the county.
In the past few years, access to commodities has been a challenge in many public health facilities. lack of access to FP commodities contributes to rise in number of teenage pregnancies and unplanned pregnancies among older women. Still in Nairobi County, girls face risk of unsafe abortion, and this is a threat to many lives.
In his manifesto, Governor Sakaja promised to construct a blood transfusion center which will significantly promote access and availability to safe blood especially for mothers during childbirth and pregnancy. Data from the county highlights that we lose 1 out of every 2 women to excessive bleeding. On Universal Health Coverage day, political leaders are held accountable on their promises to deliver quality, affordable and accessible health care.