Uhuru visit: Kisumu plans in top gear

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SUNDAY REVIEW - BY RUSHDIE OUDIA

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The red car­pet is al­ready be­ing pre­pared for Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta ahead of his tour of Kisumu this month, his first visit since the fa­mous March 9 hand­shake with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Both the na­tional gov­ern­ment and Kisumu Gover­nor Anyang' Ny­ong'o's of­fice have con­firmed the Pres­i­dent will visit Kisumu on De­cem­ber 13 to pre­side over the na­tional launch of the Univer­sal Health Cov­er­age (UHC) pi­lot phase.

Ac­cord­ing to Kisumu Deputy Gover­nor Mathews Owili, the launch for the four pi­lot coun­ties — Ny­eri, Isi­olo, Machakos and Kisumu — will be held in the lake­side city.

A team from the na­tional gov­ern­ment guided by the county lead­er­ship on Wed­nes­day toured Kisumu to iden­tify suit­able venues for the event and to en­sure that ev­ery­thing was in or­der.

Dr Owili as­sured the na­tional gov­ern­ment team that even though the re­main­ing pe­riod be­fore the launch is short, the county gov­ern­ment will do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to en­sure no­body is left out in the reg­is­tra­tion.

“What will hap­pen in the next six months af­ter the launch is go­ing to be very im­por­tant,” he said.

The pi­lot phase will run for six months. There­after, the na­tional gov­ern­ment plans to roll out the full pro­gramme in the en­tire coun­try if it proves suc­cess­ful.

The cov­er­age tar­gets moth­ers from poor fam­i­lies to help them ac­cess af­ford­able med­i­cal ser­vices.

And it falls di­rectly un­der the Pres­i­dent's Big Four Agenda on univer­sal health­care.

Be­ing one of the four coun­ties for the UHC pi­lot, Kisumu's ap­proach seeks in­no­va­tive ap­proaches that com­bine 100 per cent ac­cess to health in­sur­ance with qual­ity care to im­ple­ment a home-grown health fi­nanc­ing model that is in­clu­sive, con­trib­u­tory, ac­count­able and sus­tain­able.

Through a pub­lic-pri­vate ap­proach, the roll­out in Kisumu is ex­pected to be in­stru­men­tal as it will act as a bench­mark for the re­main­ing three coun­ties.

Al­ready, lead­ers in the re­gion have drawn a wish list to present to the Pres­i­dent.

While wel­com­ing the Pres­i­dent Kisumu Sen­a­tor Fred Outa, how­ever, de­manded that the Health min­istry give a true pic­ture of the project. “We do not want bil­lions of shillings to be spent on the pi­lot phase yet no re­sult is seen. Those charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity should tell the Pres­i­dent how bet­ter the project will be im­ple­mented,” he said.

He said there will be meet­ings start­ing to­mor­row to pre­pare for the Pres­i­dent's visit.

Kisumu East MP Sha­keel Shab­bir wants the Pres­i­dent to ad­dress the is­sue of bad roads which have taken ages to com­plete.

For nom­i­nated sen­a­tor Rose Nya­munga, Pres­i­dent Keny­atta should visit Nyanza more of­ten with good­ies and ex­pe­ri­ence the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple.

Kon­dele MCA Joachim Oketch is keen on see­ing how the hand­shake will im­pact res­i­dents and how hy­acinth will be dealt with.

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