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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Kenya to increase health funding amid rising disease burden  

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan Treasury will increase budgetary allocation to the health sector to fight against a rising burden of infectious and lifestyle diseases, officials said on Friday.

Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury, Henry Rotich, said Kenya was committed to achieving the target of allocating 15 percent of annual budget for public health as agreed by African leaders in 2001.

“We are aware of the fact that limited health financing has been a stumbling block towards elimination of preventable diseases. We are working on innovative schemes to boost health funding,” said Rotich.

He was speaking during the launch of a public-private partnership initiative to boost training of cancer and mental health specialists across the East African region.

The Kenyan Treasury allocated 60 million U.S. dollars towards the health sector this financial year.

According to Rotich, the bulk of these funds will be channeled towards upgrading public health facilities and equipping them with state of the art diagnostic equipment.

He said that mobilization of domestic resources will be a priority this financial year to help bridge funding gaps in the health sector.

“We have already implemented medical equipment supplies scheme for Level Five hospitals through partnership with the private sector,” Rotich said.

He said that Kenya was committed to universal health coverage through gradual investment in state of the art hospitals and training of additional healthcare providers.

Principal Secretary in the Treasury, Kamau Thugge, said that foreign direct investment in Kenya’s health sector had been on the rise.

“The enactment of conducive policy and regulatory incentives this decade has reactivated investments in healthcare services in the country,” Thugge said.

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