Since President Kenyatta announced Universal Health Coverage (UHC), now Afya Care, as one of the big four agenda, health advocates and Civil Society Organisations have been working tirelessly not only to define UHC according to the Kenyan context but also trying to figure out the particulars of how it will work. For instance who will fund it? Will it be anchored by National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) or will another platform be developed to propel it to its’s success? Further, do we have a strong enough health system of governance to support it?

The basis of UHC is simple; the idea is to provide quality health services to all people without causing them financial hardship.

Many can attest that Health advocacy in Kenya has been a long and strenuous journey. Over two decades ago, advocates fought for provision of free Antiretrovirals (ARVs) and against violation of human rights for people living with HIV. Later, the advocates took it to the streets and fought for Multi-Drug Resistant-TB (MDR-TB) patients to get nutrition supplements and monthly stipend for their non-medical expenses.

All these and more are examples of advocacy efforts that have dawned the era we are now in, where advocacy is a big part of the health system in Kenya and universally as well.

The fight for good health and well-being as stated in Sustainable Development Goal number 3 continues. With the dawn of Universal Health Coverage, a priceless opportunity is presented to ensure no one is left behind. Different stakeholders are knee deep in efforts to ensure their health niches are not left out of the UHC package; whether mental health or maternal services and communicable diseases such as TB.

UHC2030 has also launched an eLearning course on UHC advocacy. The guide gives an overview of why UHC matters and how advocates can mobilise change at both community and national level.

My advice? Get on the UHC train now. Haven’t you heard? It’s all the rage!

 

By: Njango Njung’e