KMET, on 7th May 21, 2014, sat in a roundtable meeting with Siaya County Governor Hon. Cornel Rasanga. This introductory meeting was aimed at developing a rapport and forging a future working relationship between Kmet and the Siaya County Government.
Of major emphasis was the issue of maternal and child health and how to improve healthcare standards within the county. Even though it has the highest doctor density in the county, Siaya still suffers from the highest infant mortality rate.
Speaking, The Governor lauded Kmet for its continued delivery of properly targeted interventions and asked for help in delivering interventions to the high number of women that deliver through unskilled delivery (49%) “What the population needs now are homegrown solutions that promote sustainability, he said, because with devolution in place, development should be nurtured to grow from down all the way up; not the other way round.”
In a subsequent meeting, at the same venue, attended by Sicco van Gelder, Mechtild VD Hombergh from ParmAccess (who is Kmet’s technical assistance partner on Bima Poa) the main objective was to introduce Pharmaccess Foundation and its work to the county government leadership and identify possible areas of collaboration.
A combination of the strengths of Pharmaccess, Kmet and the County Government would be key in planning on how to achieve universal healthcare and sharing this with interested donors for support. Governor Rasanga suggested that his government could contribute some funds to match the donor’s contributions. He also noted that in future, it would be interesting to see people exchange farm produce for health insurance as this would improve their living standards.
The County Director of Health, Dr. Omondi Owino also emphasized the importance of re-introducing amenity (private wings) at Siaya District Hospital, Yala Sub County Hospital and Bondo Sub County Hospital to attract patients who can afford to pay for health insurance. The governor explained that a free healthcare system is still in people’s minds thus the need for subsidies supported by the contribution of the county government and the donor.
A similar meeting also took place on 15th May, 2014 between Kmet, PharmAccess and The County Government of Kisumu, represented by Deputy Governor Hon. Ruth Odinga, who pointed out that there is need to customize some of the best practices and apply them to Kisumu County to make it a champion among other counties in Kenya.
The county leadership agreed that they would, as a starting point, look at revamping some of the amenity wings of public hospitals starting with JOOTRH using the Safecare Standards with KMET informing on the costing process. Sounding impressed with Bima Poa, the county officials mentioned that it would be great if KMET included public hospitals especially Victoria Hospital amongst their list of healthcare providers.
Article By: Joanne Rakwach