Published Categorized as Hospital

The Role of the Church in Accelerating the Attainment of Universal Health Coverage

October 1-5, 2018 | Pride Inn Paradise Resort, Mombasa.



Obillo Meshack KARP Coordinator

The conference is held annually to enable Catholic health and education institutions within the country to showcase best practices and deliberate on cross-cutting challenges under the leadership of the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK), which is an arm of the KCCB that oversees health as a key function. The commission is currently chaired by Rev. Joseph Mbatia with Ms Jacinta Mutegi as National Executive Secretary.
The sessions began with a prayer and devotions presided over by Fr. Cyllus Mushiri on behalf of Rev. Bishop of the Arch. of Mombasa.

Welcome and Opening Considerations

Rev. Joseph Obanyi Sagwe, who is also Vice President of the CHCK, welcomed the participants and facilitators of the conference. He called for constructive participation and was satisfied for the first time by the presence and representation of 100% of all the dioceses of Kenya. In his speech, Rev. Obanyi stressed the role of the church in universal health coverage (UHC) since it is also dealt with in the doctrinal teachings of Jesus.

Jesus instructed his followers to go out and spread the word. In this way, people turn to the church for hope and comfort, so the church must be prepared to offer high-quality and indiscriminate health services to those in need because this is another way of touching their souls.

To achieve this, it instructed the structures to invest in capacity development that includes Community personnel, equipment and programmes for prevention purposes. The accreditation of our institutions must also be pursued.

At the invitation of the Vice-President of the CHCK, Dr. David Kariuki took the podium to deliver his keynote speech on behalf of Hon. Sicily Kariuki, Minister of Health (moh), who never had the opportunity to participate due to other concomitant commitments. Dr. Kariuki, who is

also responsible for the UHC al Moh, recognized the role of Catholic commitment in health care.

She stressed what the government is doing to transform access to primary health care through Linda Mama and NHIF, mobile clinics and community unit initiatives that have had a strong impact on improving live births. In addition, he noted that on

1.5 million Kenyans on ARV, about 400,000 are managed in faith-based structures. Finally, he applauded the KCCB for their contribution to the training of health workers through 21 Catholic-owned medical colleges in the country.

Awards and Trophies

The congregation considered it possible to recognize the affiliated medical training institutes that have distinguished themselves competitively between the public and the private throughout the country in the Diploma of nursing examinations 2017. The Consolata Wamba School of Nursing and the St. Camillus School of Nursing in Tabaka both appeared in the top 3 out of 63 facilities across the country. Others were also invited to follow the same direction.

  • How to manage patients’ appointments with high numbers
  • Conducting patient membership and follow-up sessions
  • High viral load management and patient retention
  • Optimization of new drugs as per New Guidelines ART – 2018
  • Implementation of CQI projects
  • General program management for success in all areas.


Presentations tailored for Universal Medical Coverage addressed the issue from dynamic service delivery angles. From a pastoral point of view, Fr. Josiah Mudhee referred to Matthew: 1:25, Luke 10: 9 and Mark 16:18 to animate his presentation on UHC. He concluded by saying that caring for the sick and dying is a pastoral act. Other thematic areas touched the UHC Framework and the Implementation Roadmap, use and funding, the contribution of the Church in holistic quality health care, health care for populations with special needs, health care for populations in informal settlements, health care for the poor and marginalized among others. Kenya (KeNHA) to build a modern facility for trauma and accident management funded for KSH 1bn by the African Development Bank, along with other best practices presented by selected member institutions.

Partners in direct collaboration with CHCK, such as Dr Jane Masiga, Executive Director of the Mission for Emergency Medicines (MEDS), congratulated Catholic Health for its strong participation in supply chain systems. He said that the expansion of MEDS in the regions that included the Nyanza branch will soon be underway. One point to note is that MEDS has credits for KSH 230 mil from the same health facilities, and this negatively affects their operations. The Medical Committee, the Kenya Nursing Council, Pharmaken,
NHIF, NIC Bank and Afya Elimu were equally well represented and shared their areas of partnership. NIC Bank praised the mutual relationship with the church and shared Cash Management Solutions (Machine) innovation for facilities far from banks.

Dr. Wale Akinyemi

To update and inform the management of these vital institutions, a motivational speaker, Dr. Wale Akinyemi, was introduced. In his speech he illustrated how transformation was the key to the change and growth of an institution. He identified Capacities as the key pillar of any goal or growth: Luke 2:52 “Capacity comes in 4 forms; Intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social.” Finally, Dr. Wale concluded that before changing a situation, you must be ready to change yourself.

Key concerns during the plenary

  1. Complicated licensing process by the Kenya Nursing Council to foreign nationals who offer essential services in troubled locations.
  2. Safe blood banks in Kenya.
  3. Government plan to finance HIV for sustainability.

To the above concerns have responded the representative moh and the president of the NCCK.
They urged interested parties to pursue fair visas and visa-free tourism for those who come to work in the country, while the government will consider reducing the cost from the current KSH 300,000 per year. In the area of blood sustainability and care for
HIV, the blame lies with county governments that are still learning how to manage health issues.

Election of members of the Executive Board CHCK 2018/2019

The following were elected to the Council representing the health structures and the diocesan health coordination offices:

  • Father Peter Githinji.
  • Father Dominic

Closing Consideration

Rev. Joseph Mabatia, who is also the President of the CHCK, appreciated the participants and staff of the CHCK. He reminded the team that the closing of the conference would be at the beginning of the implementation period and stressed that managing people is to the benefit of the hospitals
that we serve. He encouraged everyone to use the structures established by the church to become one body. Jesus did not heal, but took care of the Body, Mind and Soul. Finally he asked for cooperation with the government.

Report by Obillo Meshack – KARP Coordinator