Private Sector Health Partnership Kenya announces new member, investments and master plan
22-09-2017 13:34:45 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 4267 | Tags:

Private Sector Health Partnership Kenya has announced a new multiyear Masterplan, new investments and new membership at the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) High-Level Event "Delivering Together for Healthy & Empowered Women, Children & Adolescents."

Through this joint-EWEC-commitment, Safaricom, Huawei, Philips, MSD, Unilever and GSK pledged support to complement on-going efforts of UNFPA to significantly improve maternal health in the 6 counties (Migori, Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Isiolo, Lamu) of Kenya accounting for close to 50% of all maternal deaths, and improve by 2020 the health and well-being of 3.5 million people in these counties. UNFPA and Kenya Healthcare Federation (KHF) have been mandated to convene and coordinate partners in meeting their commitment and established website and secretariat for the partnership.

The partnership harnesses the talent, expertise, technology, and resources of the private sector, in alignment with the Global Financing Facility and close collaboration with the Government of Kenya, the County Governments of the 6 Counties and other partners. Through its collective action partners help build models that offer the best of both public and private sector, with the potential for scaling-up the delivery of healthcare for vulnerable and poor populations in low-resource settings.

PSHP Kenya is open to all private sector companies and organizations both international and national, who want to partner and demonstrate action within the 6 counties and support partners in achieving their mission.

Unilever is one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2.5 billion consumers a day. Unilever's Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company's strategy and commits to helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.

Unilever has been working on a number of initiatives in Kenya including with UNFPA and Amref on a Maternal and Newborn Health and Hygiene project in Migori, one of the six counties PSHP Kenya is focusing its work on. This partnership and project also features in Unilever's #HeroesForChange programme. Other Unilever initiatives in Kenya include nutrition and oral health programs.

Myriam Sidibe, Unilever Africa Social Mission Director noted that "Unilever already aligns with PSHP Kenya's goal and shares a common agenda; we are looking forward to working closely with the other PSHP Kenya partners to expand our current program's impact and together drive new initiatives and progress towards improving maternal and newborn health and hygiene."

Since its announcement in September 2015 by Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, efforts have begun to bring real results. With the support also of the World Economic Forum, partners have engaged with over 100 leaders from public and private sector and unlocked $3 million private financing in finding shared-value business solutions for leapfrogging the health systems within the six counties.

A Community Life Center (CLC) has been established in Mandera County with support of the Ministry of Health, County Government, Philips and UNFPA, serving a catchment area of 40,000 people aiming to demonstrate that maternal, newborn and child health can be improved through Public Private Partnership and innovation, even in the most difficult conditions. When successful Philips will be able to scale-up this venture to many more areas serving larger communities.

At the event Philips Kenya and the Philips Foundation announced a new initiative in Wajir to help strengthen the counties community health structures by testing a mobile obstetric monitoring solution and providing Outreach Kits which would empower community health workers in early detection of high-risk pregnancies and enable timely referral to appropriate levels of care.

MSD / Merck is investing USD 1.5 million in designing and testing innovative approaches to Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health service delivery in Migori and Mandera in support of the hundred thousands' of adolescent and youth living within those counties. In Mandera, the initiative targets the CLC to build on and complement PSHP Kenya partner's efforts.

Safaricom and Huawei have started to pool their unique expertise and services in IT and mobile connectivity to design and test transformational digital health solutions in Lamu County connecting all primary clinics with their referral facilities and hospitals aiming to serve the entire population in the County. Video conference facilities enable remote specialized consultations for patients and medical education for medical staff.

Senior Public Affairs Director for Huawei Kenya, Adam Lane, noted that "Frequently the time and financial costs are so high to travel to see specialists that half of patients who need referrals for non-emergencies are put off and do not go for their referrals."

Building on the experience from the partnerships' first two years of operations and strong progress, the partners are developing a new Masterplan to enhance their governance structure, and expand the scope and scale of PSHP Kenya activities, with the aim to accelerate progress.

The Masterplan lays out the establishment of a CEO steering committee to drive high-level leadership; a technical advisory committee to tap into the wealth of expertise and knowledge within the Country; and enhanced dialogue with the national and county governments to strengthen Public Private Collaboration and blending of public and private financing in order to optimize resource mobilization and utilization.

Dr Amit Thakker, Chairman of the Kenya, and Africa Healthcare Federations said: "This novel partnership has already demonstrated the power of collaboration for advancing health and wellbeing in some of Kenya's poorest and most remote areas. We now want to scale up its activities and impacts on the ground. We hope that it may inspire others - to also achieve great things working together."

Dr Olajide Ademola, UNFPA Country Representative to Kenya, stated, "The partnership is delighted to make these announcements today in support of the United Nations' Every Woman Every Child initiative and looks forward to making further progress in these and other projects in the future, bringing on board more private sector partners, and driving public-private partnerships in Kenya to improve maternal and newborn health."