The Ministry of Health, Department of Primary Health Care, with support from Amref Health Africa and PATH Advocacy held an engagement workshop between 27th June and 2nd July 2022 in Samburu to review the AWP for FY 2021/2022 and develop an AWP for FY 2022/2023. The engagement workshop also included partners from various organizations: LVCT Health Kenya, Lwala Community Alliance, EGPAF, PS Kenya, inSupply Health and Safaricom PLC.
AWPs are part of the government planning cycle that help plan and monitor existing projects in the different government blueprints. The review done will consequently support the Universal Health Coverage through the implementation of the PHC strategic framework and community health strategy.
Dr. Maureen Kimani, Head of Division of Community Health shares her input on the same in the interview below|:
What is the purpose of holding the annual work plan meeting?
AWP is an operational process that points out the new year’s objectives and performance measures as a government department. It is an important planning tool to do self-mobilization and go towards achieving policies and strategies. Through an AWP, we can conduct an in-depth review of divisional mandates and activities for FY 2021/22 and identify the achievements, gaps, lessons learnt and priority areas for the next FY 2022/23.
What are your 2022/2023 goals?
Our core mandate as a department is to create and implement policies around primary health care, based on previous implementations. We also offer technical assistance to counties for implementation of the same and will continue to do that.
Since adoption of the new constitution in 2010 that came with devolved governments, counties were tasked with implementing these policies in their respective counties. We will work closely with counties for the execution to ensure that policies, guidelines and protocols developed get to the end user and they can reap maximum benefit from it.
As, for the Division of Health promotion their main focus for FY 2022/2023 will be heavy on reviewing existing strategy and developing a new policy on health promotion.
What are some of the challenges you faced in FY 2021/2022?
Lack of enough human resource. You find we had few people in the department as compared to the work planned for the year. This was mainly because most of last year’s activities were to develop these national documents for implementation by counties in FY2022/2023.
Competing interests specifically with issues around the Covid-19 pandemic. We had to change priorities and first deal with the pandemic issue at hand and put on hold planned activities for the year. This affected our timelines and delivery of certain objectives.
What actions can be taken to remedy this in FY 2022/2023?
In order to achieve what we have planned for this year, we have planned better and we are looking to continually collaborate with partners and borrow officers from other departments and divisions.
We will also train ToTs and technically support counties to cascade FY2022/2023 objectives to the CHV level. We will financially support execution of these policies from counties, sub counties up to the community level. CHVs are the primary agents in achieving quality healthcare at household levels through the work they do of disease prevention awareness, diagnosis and referral where need be. The work they do is aligned towards attainment of UHC. We therefore want to build capacity and ensure they are well equipped to do their work as needed.
Lastly, what can be done to aid the plight of renumeration of CHVs?
As a department, we have been advocating for the County CHS Bill to be passed in counties. Through the CHS Bill which seeks to provide a framework for the delivery of community health services; to promote access to primary health care services at the community level and reduce health disparities between counties; to provide for the training and capacity building of the community health workforce, counties will set aside and allocate resources for renumeration of the CHVs.
At the end of the AWP review activity, the Department aligned its plans to the Ministerial AWP for presentation to the Treasury for financial allocation. The department of Primary Health Care continues to work in close collaboration with all partners to fill the financial gaps to achieve its set plans. Since the Ministry is utilizing Primary Health Care as the driver towards the implementation of Universal Health Coverage, an all-inclusive approach will be used to ensure that all stakeholders are engaged through financial and technical assistance for achievement of government agenda.