Why donor billions headache welcomes new Health CS into office

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Some of the medical equipment at Busia Referral Hospital [Chrispen Sechere, Standard]

Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has taken over at the Ministry of Health with a promise to deliver on universal health.

“We will deliver universal healthcare as envisaged under the big four agenda,” she tweeted on Wednesday soon after a handover ceremony, referring to President Uhuru’s second term goal.

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But first she has to address the urgent issue of whom between Afya House and governors get to manage billions of donor cash and projects.

“We want all monies for health sent to the counties and we want it now,” says Council of Governors’ Chairman Josphat Nanok.

A recent budgetary analysis by the Ministry and USAid shows that despite devolution of health services to counties, loans, grants and donor financing to Afya House have grown dramatically since 2014.

By holding onto the free maternity initiative and the Sh38 billion medical Equipment Leasing Scheme, the analysis shows Afya House to have gone on a borrowing spree.

While in 2015 Afya House had borrowed only about Sh1.7 billion, Sh5.2 billion in 2016, last…

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