Digital Health

MoH urges Kenyans to adopt digital health innovation

Kenyans have been called upon to adopt M-Tiba, Marwa health insurance and NHIF to access medical care easily.

In a speech read on his behalf by Heath CAS Rashid Aman, Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the use of digital technology is transforming the healthcare experience across the world.

Kagwe said the majority of the population across Africa is quickly comprised of digital natives.

“The health sector is fast adopting the use of technology to address the healthcare challenges and improve efficiency in service delivery,” he said.

“Therefore, my ministry is committed to adapting technology and challenging how we deliver our services. It is also critical in the success of UHC agenda.”

Kagwe said when the need for services is urgent, technology can help save lives by providing a quick means for emergency care from the response team before the physical services.

He said the government will leverage technology to help in data collection and analytics for monitoring and evaluation of services.

“Digital technology is fast taking growth, therefore, economy and health is not an exception, however, more needs to be done to provide health coverage, especially those in the informal sector,” he said.

“Technology will improve the efficiency of services by aiding diagnostics and saving time to receive health care and improve accountability of the use of allocated resources.”

Kagwe said insurance penetration in Kenya is still low about 20 per cent and therefore to increase the number, the ministry is targeting the most vulnerable groups by creating awareness.

He said M-TIBA has about 4.5 million users who utilise the insurance policy through their mobile phones.

The data generated by M-TIBA helps insurance, donors and the government to distribute benefits efficiently and transparently.

He called upon private sectors to join hands with the public to adopt the use of technology and innovations and support the rolling out of the digital health platform to use the data more appropriately.

His speech was read during a conference on digitising health to scale on Tuesday in Nairobi.

NHIF chief executive Peter Kamunyo said digital health platforms empower and involve the public.

“Currently, NHIF has 13.8 million registered households which is about 60 to 70 per cent coverage, however by the end of last month only about 30 per cent were active. Out of the 9.1 million people registered as voluntary members, only 1.7 million were active,” he said.

Kamunyo said statutory contributors are about 30 per cent.

He said there is a need to create awareness of the importance and benefits of digital health platforms in marginalised communities to avoid falling out of members from NHIF and other platforms.

Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, was hopeful the national government was committed financially and scale the initiative nationally, to ensure the most vulnerable are not left behind.

He spoke about the Marwa health insurance scheme in Kisumu, covering 45,000 indigents.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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