Uhuru visit: Kisumu plans in top gear
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.