WASHINGTON, June 15, 2016 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a program to support Kenya improve utilization and quality of primary health care (PHC) services in order to reduce maternal deaths and improve child survival. Ultimately, the program will help save on health costs, increase labor force participation, and also contribute to higher productivity.
The new Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care project intends to reach the poorest and most needy population who hardly use hospital services because they can neither afford or cannot access them. In close collaboration with other development partners, the project seeks to enhance coordinated support in pursuit of shared objectives of improving reproductive, maternal, newborn child and adolescent health.
“We would like to see more pregnant mothers deliver their babies in a health facility and attended to by skilled health workers” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Kenya. “We will also be happy to see more children growing up strong and healthy because they are accorded good health care and their parents are well-informed on what to feed and how to take care of them.”
The project will focus on three areas: improving access to and demand for quality PHC services, strengthening institutional capacity to improve utilization and quality of PHC services, and supporting cross-county and intergovernmental collaboration in the devolved health system.
The project’s support to build Ministry of Health and county capacity for implementing Universal Health Coverage reforms in Kenya will pave the way to improved access to health care services for the poor and enable Kenyans to realize their rights to quality health care as enshrined in the 2010 Constitution. It will provide support to all the 47 counties to address critical gaps not currently funded by domestic or external funding and to build institutional capacity. A number of mechanisms will be used to identify and address inequity in each county.
“With the strong commitment and leadership of the national and county governments to increase domestic resources for health, the project is designed to place a strong focus on results and allocating resources based on the improved coverage and quality of essential PHC services,” said Yi-Kyoung Lee, Senior Health Specialist and Task Team Leader.
The total cost of the project is $191.1 million, of which $150 million will be financed by an International Development Agency (IDA)* credit, a $40 million grant from the Multi-donor Trust Fund for the Global Financing Facility** and $1.1 million grant from the Government of Japan’s Policy and Human Resources Development Fund***.
The program is fully aligned with the World Bank Group’s Kenya Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and it also supports the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.
** The Global Financing Facility is a multi-stakeholder partnership that supports country-led efforts to improve the health of women, children and adolescents by acting as an innovative financing pathfinder. The GFF Trust Fund is a multi-donor trust fund that leverages additional financing for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health by linking grant funding to IDA financing.
*** The ‘Performance and Results with Improved Monitoring and Evaluation’ window of the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) aims to enhance the use of country system and promote evidence-based decision making by strengthening the M&E systems of the country. The PHRD Trust Fund is financed by the Government of Japan.