9 September 2016

Kenya: Counties Receive Millions to Cater for Free Maternity

The Ministry of Health has disbursed Sh898 million to county governments for free maternity.

According to the ministry, the amount is the first quarter disbursement for financial year 2016/17 to cover an estimated 183,000 births in county health facilities.

The money was disbursed on Wednesday following the President's directive to cushion devolved health facilities from financial costs associated with running the free maternity programme at the beginning of the financial year.

Speaking while releasing the funds, Health Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri said the money is meant to ensure pregnant women continue to receive quality delivery.

"This programme has increased access to skilled birth attendance for all Kenyan mothers and in turn has significantly reduced maternal and infant deaths," said Dr Muraguri.

Six of the 47 counties will receive some of the largest tranches, with Nakuru County leading with about Sh50 million for delivery of 10,881 babies.

It is followed by Kakamega County, which is set to receive Sh39 million for delivery of 10,072 babies.

Nairobi will receive Sh37 million for delivery of 7,600 newborns, followed by Bungoma (Sh34 million for 8,573 babies), Kisii Sh31 million for 7,593 newborns and Migori (Sh28 million for 7,885 babies).

Last month, the ministry announced that it was considering channelling the free maternity funds through the National Hospital Insurance Fund to resolve a long tussle with governors over delays in provision of free maternity services in county hospitals.


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