AMREF Health Africa, Philips EA and Migori County have joined forces in a long-term Partnership for Primary Care (P4PC) – an innovative business model to revolutionize primary care in the region, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in primary care.
According Migori county governor Okoth Obado, strengthening primary care is the most efficient, fair, and cost-effective way to achieve desired health impacts. Obado who was speaking during a joint meeting in a Kisumu hotel added that in line with the WHO, Kenya Vision 2030, and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta identified universal health coverage (UHC) as one of his “Big Four” agenda for the coming five years.
According to Obado, Amref Health Africa will strengthen management of the health facilities as well as offer capacity building of the primary care human resource for health, including the community health workers (CHWs) He added that Philips EA will be responsible for providing the health systems infrastructure, IT systems and the medical equipment in the clinics while Migori County will be responsible for policy, regulation, and quality management urging locals to embrace county hospitals.
Migori county Assembly Chairs of Finance and Health Committees; Thomas Akungo and James Ogweno Maende respectively, committed to allocate more funds to the county government to support the partnership.PPP Directorate Manager, Kennedy Onyonyi said it is high time for the county governments to invest in primary HealthCare facilities for locals to access them.
Onyonyi said when the required tools are provided in local hospitals then nobody will seek for private hospitals which many times are located far away from them.Dr. Catherine Kanari, the UHC Lead at Amref Health Innovations, said that between December 2020 and July 2021, Migori county administration was supported by Amref to conduct a socio-economic mapping exercise, which culminated in the identification of 120,000 indigent households in Migori.
A total of 24,000 indigent households have already been shared with Migori county for the on-going NHIF Biometric Registration exercise. She said the primary care system in Kenya is not efficient and not able to serve the needs of the population thus the system is often challenged by a lack of sustainable funding, poorly equipped facilities, erratic supply chains, and shortages of healthcare professionals.
Amref Health Innovation’s Public Private Partnerships Manager, Bill Olwenda said that; despite the fact that Migori County Government has made significant investments in extending and improving its primary care system, most primary care facilities are still not fully functional due to gaps in both the supply and demand sides of care.
He cited, lack of adequate infrastructure, equipment, erratic supply of drugs and reagents, training deficiency amongst human resource for health and low uptake of NHIF insurance cover amongst other challenges.
He said when people need primary care services, they face a choice between sub-standard, yet affordable public care or quality, yet costly and inaccessible private care; and in dire cases, traditional healers.
By Basil Okoth