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Severe budget cuts in Kenya threaten health crisis and UHC goals - P4H Network

Severe budget cuts in Kenya threaten health crisis and UHC goals

News by Gilbert Nakweya published in the  BMJ Journal on the 23rd of May reports that Kenya is on the brink of a severe health crisis, with the government planning to slash the health budget by two-thirds in the next financial year.

Nakweya highlighted the following key issues: 

  • Child health at risk: Major vaccine suppliers have halted deliveries due to unpaid bills from current budget cuts, endangering immunization programs.
  • Drastic budget reductions: The Ministry of Health requested KES319.4bn for 2024-25, but the Treasury reduced it to just KES100bn, undermining UHC goals.
  • Doctors’ salary arrears: Cuts will affect payment of doctors’ outstanding salary arrears, recently promised by the government.
  • UHC Implementation:  Funding for the Primary Health Care Fund, Emergency, Chronic, and Critical Illness Fund, and Social Health Authority operations will be significantly impacted.
  • Maternal Health Crisis: The Linda Mama program’s budget is halved from KES4bn to KES2bn, risking increased maternal and infant mortality as pregnant women may opt for unsafe home deliveries.

The budget cuts threaten to derail Kenya’s healthcare progress, endangering the health and lives of its citizens. Immediate action is needed to secure adequate funding and support essential health services.


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