Monday, October 24, 2011

[EQ] SDOH Country Statement Republic of Kenya

Country Statement by Hon. Beth Mugo, EGH, MP. Minister for Public Health and Sanitation

Republic of Kenya

“…..Mr Chairman, on behalf of the Kenyan delegation, I wish to thank the government of Brazil for hosting this World Conference on social Determinants of health.  I also take this opportunity to congratulate the Director General of WHO for organizing the conference.


The government of Kenya recognizes the importance of addressing the social determinants of health in order to improve the health status and well being of the people.  This will be achieved through multi sectoral coordination and partnership.


The government underscores the importance of continuous monitoring and evaluation of the Social Determinants of Health outcomes whose data is used to provide evidence for policy formulation, planning and interventions.  We also note that this information must be shared with all stakeholders for purposes or harmonizing our approaches to address the social determinants of health.


Since August 2010, Kenya is operating in a new constitutional dispensation, which guarantees our citizenry the right to access the highest attainable standard of health.  In addition, the national economic development blue print-Vision 2030 has outlined the Community Health Strategy as the flagship project for attaining the Health millennium Development Goals.  This is also in line with our other National Health Policies.  Through the community strategy, communities are empowered to take charge of their own health through simple health practices and managing various social and environmental health determinants in line with the Alma Ata declaration. 

Other interventions include:

·     Construction of a model health facility in 201 out of 210 constituencies that the country is divided into.  We have also employed additional 50 health workers per constituency which totals to 12,000 additional health workers which is a step towards increasing equity in access to health care.

·     Rolling out the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) for Urban areas which we aim at attaining coverage by 2013.

·     The Health Sector Service Fund- through which funds are being disbursed directly to health facilities that are ran by local committees.

·     Creation of Intersectoral coordinating mechanisms for thematic areas e.g. child health, sanitation and malaria among others.

·     Accelerated programme based approaches for example in the malaria and T.B. programs which are already recording promising results.

The government has also put in place a Public-Private-Partnership policy in order to enhance partnerships and coordination.  In addition, our current Kenya Health Policy Framework has embedded in it the concept of Health in all Policy Approach to address the social determinants of health.

Mr. Chairman, despite these achievements and on-going interventions, we face challenges in providing universal access to health.  Some of these challenges include: inadequate funding to the health sector, influx of refugees from neighbouring countries with weak health systems, the rural urban migration a situation that further strains our limited health resources and systems, the emerging threat of non communicable diseases, hard to reach terrains which hinder access to health facilities.  With regards to brain drain, we urge the developed countries which are the major beneficiaries of health worker migration to support training of health workers in developing countries.


However, the government of Kenya is committed to bridging the gap of health inequities, which we believe will be attained through addressing the social determinants of health.  These include:  food security, safe drinking water, improved sanitation, proper housing, and access to education, regional security and improvements of primary health systems.  A failure in any one of these sectors contributes to a higher disease burden.  The involvement of all stakeholders cannot therefore be over emphasized. Thank you!...”

Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health

World Conference on Social Determinantds of Health
Rio de Janeiro Brazil, October 21, 2011

Available online at

The Rio Political Declaration on Social Determinants of Health expresses global political commitment for the implementation of a social determinants of health approach to reduce health inequities and to achieve other global priorities. It will help to build momentum within WHO Member States for the development of dedicated national action plans and strategies….”



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