by Maximilla Wafula
Group CEO Dr. Githinji gitahi , today led the Nairobi county health review taskforce stakeholders forum held at Hilton garden Inn, in
transforming the Health Sector of Nairobi County.
While addressing, he emphasized that there are existing challenges in the health systems, which must also be identified the possible way solutions to the system bottlenecks and opportunities for achieving universal health coverage in Nairobi County ~ Dr Githinji Gitahi.
Health reforms in Nairobi County has garnered momentum following the hosting of the Nairobi County Health Reforms Stakeholder Engagement Forum. The one- day forum organised by Amref Health Africa, Nairobi County and HENNET brought together over two hundred stakeholders from Nairobi County including NGOs, CSO, youth, community health workers, private sector and the business community, which aimed at highlighting existing gaps in the health sector and reviewing service delivery landscape of Nairobi County, and collectively identifying recommended remedial measures to reforms the sector.
Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the Chairperson of the County Taskforce and Group CEO of Amref Health Africa, pointed out that the team prioritises consultations with various stakeholders in Nairobi County in the quest to improve health systems in the county.
Speaking during the event, Dr Gitahi highlighted that the taskforce needed a unique strategy to accomplish its mandate within the given timelines. “It is not the first time that Nairobi County has established taskforces for health reforms, what we need is to come together and identify what we need refocus on to achieve equitable health services in the face of the changing landscape including effects of health and mitigation and adaptation on climate change”.
He called on Stakeholders to reflect on achieving an enabled and efficient mixed health system that does not distinguish the quality of services offered in public or private hospitals. He said, “while there are existing challenges in the health systems, we must also identify the possible solutions to the system bottlenecks and opportunities for achieving universal health coverage in Nairobi County”.
The Acting County Secretary & Head of public service Dr. Jairus Musumba speaking on behalf of the Governor reiterated that Health is one of the pillars of the county and the taskforce has a responsibility to ensure that the health and wellbeing of the people of Nairobi are upheld. He further called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to boost health care systems through investment, dedication and planning for resources, coordination, oversight, awareness creation and advocacy.
Some of the areas of discussion for the forum included Health infrastructure and facilities, sustainable health financing, strengthening health workforce, health products and technologies, health service delivery, health information and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems; research and development Investments, enacting enabling policies, streamlining the legislative and regulatory environment; improved accountable leadership, governance including intergovernmental relations and stakeholder coordination.
In closing, The group CEO Amref Dr. Githinji gitahi appreciated the Governor – H.E Hon Johnstone Sakaja for making health a political choice and a priority for the people of Nairobi County because this also means choosing socio-economic development of the county. “Nairobi is a metropolitan city, a regional hub, hosts an international airport, is the headquarters of many agencies.
We are, therefore, not only looking at the health of the 4million population living in Nairobi but could be as high as 7 million if you count the people who come to work in the city and leave in the evening,” He said. “This means, health sector reforms will not be limited to the health sector, they have to be included in matters of urban planning, health security, climate, environment, water, food security, nutrition, water and sanitation. The taskforce is expected to share a report to the governor before the end of November 2022.”