Yesterday was a critical milestone for my team as we launched the Samburu West Health Insurance Baseline Survey Report and enrolled 600 most vulnerable households to NHIF under the Universal Health Care (UHC) program. We have spent so many months planning and to see it coming to fruition filled our hearts with joy and pride.

This is a great initiative for Samburu County but a number of things must be done for it to achieve full potential. First, the county must scale to the 5000 vulnerable households identified during the survey in Samburu West. Secondly, all health facilities must be NHIF accredited so that the cards can help the beneficiaries. Finally, the county must improve services in the health centres so that the remittances from NHIF doesn’t go to other counties because of too many referrals.

Equipping the Samburu County health department to improve the quality and access of health services delivered is key to achieving UHC. Hon. Lesuuda has noted that it was crucial that the funds from NHIF remain in the health centres and not county treasury so that we improve our health centres.

Health care burden is one of the things putting many families at the risk of poverty. This initiative offers financial protection for vulnerable households and empowers them to receive basic health services with dignity. She urged all Samburu West constituents to enrol in the program to reduce the rising cases of Harambees towards payment of hospital bills. For those who cannot be able to raise money to enrol, the office of Hon Naisula Lesuuda will assess and if justified, get them covered.

Hon Lesuuda would like to thank all the partners who worked with us to make this dream come true; NHIF Kenya, USAID Kenya, AMREF – Afya Timiza and the Samburu County Health Department. Special thanks to AMREF through Afya Timiza who have committed to employing 36 nurses. Such is the spirit needed to make UHC a success in Samburu County.

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