Huffington Post: Kenya can lead the way to universal health care in Africa
Consider this: every year, nearly 1 million Kenyans are pushed below the poverty line as a result of unaffordable health care expenses.
For many Kenyan families, the cost of health care is as distressing as the onset of illness and access to treatment. A majority of the population at risk can hardly afford the costs associated with basic health care and when faced with life threatening conditions, it is a double tragedy-inability to access health care and lack of resources to pay for the services.
According to the World Health Organisation, a large percentage of poor households in Kenya cannot afford health care without serious financial constraints as most are dependent on out of pocket payments to pay for services. Nearly four out of every five Kenyans have no access to medical insurance, thus a large part of the population is excluded from quality health care services.
In 2015, UN Member States endorsed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), expected to guide the development agenda through 2030. The endorsement of the SDG 3 ― Good health and wellbeing; formally enshrined Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as a development priority for all countries.
UHC has the potential to transform the lives of millions of Kenyans—guaranteeing access to lifesaving health services while helping individuals and families avoid crippling health expenses and the poverty trap.