On August 17, Kenya signed a Sh3.2 billion loan with Japan that will be used in the healthcare sector. It was signed by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Japan's Ambassador to Kenya, Tatsushi Terada.
"The credit will provide general budget support specifically to the health sector with a view to promoting attainment of universal healthcare in the country. This will be achieved through expanding and strengthening essential health services at county hospitals in the country," Rotich said.
The 39th loan extended to Kenya by Japan, is the first of its kinds by supporting the health sector. The loan is in line with its active promotion of the universal health coverage, according to the Japanese Government.
"In this context, our support to achieve universal health coverage where all people, even those who were unable to enjoy satisfactory health care services due to financial reasons, enjoy the necessary services without suffering financial hardships," Terada said. The loan will focus on 4 key areas which include free maternity services that will see financial assistance being provided throughout the country to improve access to health care for the mothers and children at all public health facilities. Also it will go into the health insurance subsidy program that will have 42,300 poor households enrolled in health insurance.
Another beneficiary of the loan is the health sector service fund result-based financing as it will support county health management teams for supervision, quality improvement and give them incentives to provide quality health services among others.
Lastly, the loan will go into capacity development for the universal health coverage activities which will support activities at national and country levels.
"These areas of support have been carefully determined with the consultations of your government and are in line with national strategic plans in the health sector, which are stipulated in Kenya Vision 2030," added Terada.
"Our cooperation with Japan is currently anchored on the 5th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) Yokohama Action Plan. I am happy that Kenya has been honoured to be the first country in Africa to host the sixth TICAD in Nairobi during the second half of 2016," Rotich concluded.