USAID to support Kenya’s Health Sector Capacity Building

USAID will support the Government’s ongoing efforts to provide essential health services to its citizens with a US$ 21 million grant.

The 18 months Human Resource for Health Capacity Bridge grant will be issued through IntraHealth International to rationalize health delivery services across the country and support county governments to improve their HRM management systems.

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the grant comes at a critical transition time in the management of healthcare in the country as devolution takes root and more services are devolved to the counties.

“One such aspect is human resource. It is important that as we devolve, we do not compromise service delivery to our people,” said Macharia.

IntraHealth International Kenya Country Director Meshack Ndolo said the grant will be used to establish systems to manage and retain an optimal and equitably distributed health workforce in the counties.

The project will be delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Health and county governments

Among programs to benefit include HIV, Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning/Reproductive Health and malaria, which Ndolo said cannot be improved or expanded without a well-managed and motivated workforce.

“This grant provides a great opportunity to build on our ongoing efforts to support Kenya’s commitment to develop a strong health workforce that can deliver quality health services,” he said.

The project will support 837 contract health workers to continue working in government health facilities across the country and transition them to county governments over its course.

It will also support the Ministry of Health in finalizing development and dissemination of the second four-year National Human Resource for Health (HRH) strategy that runs between 2014 and 2018.

It will focus on strengthening the HRM and data systems of health workers in selected counties to serve as a strategic foundation for human resources database in all counties.

the project will support the devolvement of the HR for Health Inter-agency Coordinating Committee to the 47 Counties to oversee the implementation of HRH strategies with linkage to existing national coordinating mechanisms.

Ndolo said the new project will draw lessons from the Capacity Kenya project 2009 – 2014, whose key accomplishments include installation of a data base that assess staffing problems for effective county-level personnel deployment.

The Capacity Kenya project also developed a Rapid Hire Program that has improved the hiring process and significantly decreased recruitment and deployment time of health workers from a minimum of 18 months to 3 months while supporting and sustaining 1,917 contract health workers in public health facilities.