People’s Health Movement Kenya World Health Day 7th April 2019 Report:
Since 1950, World Health Day has been celebrated on the 7th of April of each year with a goal to raise global awareness of specific health themes to highlight priority areas of concerns. On 7th April, 2019, PHM Kenya joined the rest of the world and PHM comrades around the world to mark the day and commemorate it as ‘People’s Health Day’.
PHM Kenya members on People’s Health Day setting at PHM Desk and explaining to the public about PHM
In marking this year’s World Health Day, ‘People’s Health Day’ PHM Kenya joined the people of Ndhiwa in Ndhiwa Sub County, Homa-Bay County located in the rural parts of Western Kenya, this is one of the Counties faced huge health burden coupled with limited access to basic health care services. The County is also rank on top in cases of sexual abuse and defilement, teen pregnancy, gender based violence, and early marriages, maternal deaths, HIV prevalence, malaria, Tuberculosis. Luck of adequate health facilities with most vulnerable forced to spend out-of-pocket to access health care further pushing thousands of people into extreme poverty, and poor access to health care facilities.
The World Health Day in 2019 focused on the Health for All “Everyone Everywhere” which is in tandem with Universal Health Coverage on ensuring all people and communities have access to quality health services where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship, including the full spectrum of services needed throughout life. That is from health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, to palliative care, all based on a strong primary health care system.
PHM Kenya got the opportunity to communicate with people and local leaders about the importance of equity in health-care services, for not only the health of individuals, but also for the growth of economies and the society at large, and also mobilized grassroots civil society organizations and health activists in the county of Homa-Bay to take action on issues around social accountability for health.
Because Health is a fundamental human right, a human right for everyone everywhere, PHM Kenya made the people, their local leaders to understand that health is not a privilege for those who can afford it, but the foundation for individuals and families to flourish, communities to prosper and nations to thrive and, everyone should have the information and services they need to take care of their own health.
PHM Kenya also got the opportunity to call upon relevant County government of Homa-Bay, not only to look into Service coverage and financial protection but also look in to equity, quality, efficiency and accountability, resilience and sustainability, and strategies to reach those who are likely to be left behind.
PHM Kenya emphasized on the importance of primary health care as a foundation of better health and first level of contact with the health system, this is the level where individuals, families and communities receive the very first health care, health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. Homa-bay county government was urged to ensure easy access to primary health care, provision of basic health supply and nurses in this hospital.
PHM Kenya created awareness on health care as citizen’s rights and urged the communities to demand quality health care from their leaders, PHM-Kenya in addition impressed on the county government to consider some allowances for community health workers to motivate and promote health deliverables and their leaders to make health for all a reality.
PHM Kenya made it clear to policy makers that health is a political choice and must be considered in all government policies. More investment in primary health care is needed to make universal health coverage a reality.
PHM Kenya urged the Community Health workers that since they know the traditions, cultures and practices, health history of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency, they are the voice for their patients and were urged to unite with their peers and to let the local leaders know that they support health for all and make sure that everyone can access the skills and expertise of health workers like them. PHM Kenya also urged them to empower their patients to take care of their own health.
Homa-bay County chief executive committee on health and other senior health officials at PHM desk and PHM Kenya also handed over the PHM Kenya world health day statement to the Homa-bay Chief Executive Committee in charge of Health
The Homa-Bay County Executive Committee in charge of Health expressed willingness to engage more with PHM Kenya members on key areas of Primary Health Care provision and Health accountability as they look into rolling out Universal Health Coverage in the coming months.
PHM Kenya was requested by health activists, local media, and the county government to partner and convene effective public participation forums in all the nine sub-counties in Homa-bay, and come out with a report that will be presented to the county assembly committee that will inform UHC priority setting.
The Day served as a launch for a long-term advocacy program and for which activities that will be undertaken thought the year. PHM Kenya will continue with the engagement with the people, health professionals, civil society organization, health activists, and County governments and policy makers in the rural areas of Kenya on health issues focusing on Primary Healthcare, health accountability to address health inequities.