Introduction

Access to quality and affordable healthcare is a fundamental human right. Article 43(1)(a) of the
Constitution of Kenya provides that every person has the right to the highest attainable standard
of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care.
The constitution further devolved provision of health care services to the county governments.
Agenda 2030 pitting the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted by the global
community in 2015 and came into force on 1 st June 2016. Kenya officially launched the SDGs
on 14 th September 2016 ushering in a new development paradigm on a number of sectors
including health. SDG 3 focusses on health. Universal Health Care (UHC) in Kenya was
launched on 12 December 2018 and is being piloted in four counties before a nation-
wide roll-out in 2022. This denotes that the country is on an ambitious trajectory to
address health inequalities for its citizens by ensuring equity in access, quality of
services and eliminating financial risks and barriers inhibiting access to quality
healthcare in the country. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been encouraging its
member states (Kenya included) to develop and implement a Universal Health Coverage (UHC)
system that ensures that quality preventive, curative, promotive and rehabilitative healthcare
services are accessible to all without facing the risk of financial constraints. Additionally, the
Council of Governors appreciates that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a vital aspect in
ensuring that citizens get their desired health as highlighted in the Kenya Health Policy.
In light of this, the Jubilee government has included Universal Health Coverage as one of its Big
Four Agenda items. The UHC has been launched and is being piloted in 4 counties namely;
Kisumu, Machakos, Nyeri and Isiolo. Its main goal is to facilitate access to quality and affordable
health care. Thus, the country is committed to achieving UHC by 2022. To achieve this,
investment in Kenya’s health care system is paramount. The government has consequently put
in place several measures to transform the crucial health sector.
Much has been said by the government on the transformed healthcare system. However, very
little has been heard from the demand side, i.e. the citizenry. As such, the People’s Health
Movement 1 commissioned this study to get citizenry and other stakeholder feedback on the
effectiveness of Kenya’s healthcare system including the UHC. The study was done in September 2019. Data collection took place between 7th – 20th September, 2019.

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