November 24, 2017

Kenya gets Sh3.28 billion health loan from Japan

By Jude Titus

Kenya has received a Sh3.28 billion loan from Japan which was promised last month by the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe. The loan was pledged when President Uhuru Kenyatta went on a five-day official visit to Japan.

President Uhuru who was in the company of 14 other African leaders also attended the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction [WCDRR] which was held in Sendai City.

Japan has been in the forefront in delivering its health commitments to the world such as; introducing health as G8 agenda and the establishment of the Global Fund.

The Cabinet Secretary of the National Treasury Mr. Henry Rotich witnessed the signing event on Monday and was joined by the Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA]Mr. Hideo Eguchi.

JICA is a governmental agency that coordinates Official Development Assistance [ODA] for the Japanese Government.

Japan in August 18, 2015 also loaned Kenya to support the health sector efforts towards achieving the Universal Healthcare Coverage.

‘‘Human security is a concept that pursues the right of individuals to live happily and in dignity, free from fear and want, through their protection and empowerment,’’ said Mr. Eguchi, JICA’s Chief Representative.

Mr. Eguchi also reiterated that the concept of Universal Health Coverage is a foundation to build when a country strives for human security, as it is an instrument to realize sustainable and equitable economic growth and social stability.

Towards the end of February this year, Japan gave Kenya a Sh2.9 billion grant to assist Kenyans in poor and marginalized areas. The grant was aimed at improving maternity services, improve health facilities and subsidize Kenya’s health insurance through the National Health Insurance Fund [NHIF].

The grant was set to increase health services for the less fortunate by boosting free maternal health care from the current 62 to 70 percent by the end of 2016.

The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Tatsushi Terada said that the Sh2.9 billion was part of an agreement signed between Kenya and Japan in March 2015 during Uhuru’s visit to the country.

‘‘Funding the health sector is part of Japan’s official development assistance to Kenya. The purpose of the grant is to ensure that all people access health services they need without suffering financial hardships,’’ said Mr. Terada.

The health Cabinet Secretary last week on Wednesday said that the recent outbreak of Influenza virus types A and B in Nakuru has resulted in 39 deaths of total 296 cases that have been reported.

The outbreak was reported in Nakuru East, Nakuru West, Nakuru North, Molo and Rongai sub-counties since March, 2016.

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