KENYA: Church has a Critical Role in Universal Health Coverage Agenda, Says Bishop Obanyi

MOMBASA, OCTOBER 5, 2018 (CISA) – Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe the Vice Chairman of the Catholic Health Commission of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), has recognized the role of the Catholic Church in the realization of the Universal Health Coverage agenda.

“We see a critical role for us to play in UHC realization and in Kenya through offering quality health services, sensitizing our Christians and patients on the initiative, support in enrolling community members to NHIF (both paying and subsidy beneficiaries), capacity building and training of healthcare workers, investment in specialized services, investment in community health programmes for prevention and health promotion, and 100 percent accreditation to NHIF of church ran health facilities,” read the Bishop’s statement.

Bishop Obanyi was speaking October 2, 2018 during the Catholic Health Commission’s Annual General Meeting held in Mombasa.

“Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the theme of our conference this year aligns with our spiritual mandate of equality, justice, and impartiality to those we serve.”

Bishop Obanyi reminded the church on its role in regard to the 2012 United Nations General Assembly resolution which underscored the need for adequate, skilled, well-trained and motivated workforce to realize the benefits of UHC.

“In committing to the realization of the 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development, Member States recognized that the dignity of the individual is fundamental and that the Agenda’s Goals and targets should be met for all nations and people and for all segments and society.”

The bishop acknowledged the efforts of the government in ensuring that Kenyans have access to Universal Health Coverage towards the achievement of its Sustainable Development Goals.

“Lately health has been prioritized by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Kenya as one of the ‘Big 4 Agenda’ of the government,” added the Bishop.

The conference was attended by among others the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health EGH Mrs. Sicily K. Kariuki.

In her speech she called for strengthened collaboration and partnership between the government and the Church towards realization of Universal Health Coverage in the country.

She stressed on the continued stakeholder engagement and partnerships with private health providers aimed at strengthening relations, “…and ensure that all key players work in harmony in seeking improved health care provision, increased health insurance member registration and retention for improved access to health coverage”.