KENYA – Kenyan Governors have rejected the Cabinet’s plan to replace all government programmes dealing with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis with a mega authority called the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority.

The Governors have stressed that the decision would affect the coordinated operations of the National AIDS Control Council as well as the National AIDS and STIS control programmes.

The decision will also interfere with operations of the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease programme, the division of National Malaria programme and the coordination of Community Health Services.

Earlier, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the Kenyan Cabinet had already decided to replace the five bodies with the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority arguing that the creation of the mega body would accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage.

The Cabinet memorandum also requires all donors and partners supporting health programmes in Kenya including making any donations to deal only with the proposed authority,” Mutahi Kagwe said.

The CS said the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority would support county governments to enhance service delivery and promote community health as well as further decentralize problematic activities in line with devolution.

Mutahi emphasized that the new authority would also create synergies, quality assurances and efficiencies for both levels of government.

He said that the Council of Governors will be represented in the authority board to strengthen the coordination of county governments to effectively respond to with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

The rejection of the proposed plan has already been communicated to the Ministry of Health and the Committee of Principal Secretaries chaired by the solicitor general after Mutahi Kagwe announced the plan in a letter addressed to Council of Governors Chairman Martin Wambora.

Kisumu County Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o explained that the Cabinet proposal was unconstitutional since the National AIDS Control Council was established in 1999 by an Executive Order issued under the State Corporations Act.

The National AIDS Control Council is mandated to lead, mobilize resources and coordinate the implementation of the HIV response in Kenya.

The order has not yet been comprehensively reviewed to align it to the 2010 Constitution and the devolved system of governance,” stressed Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o.

He further maintained that establishment of the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority as a state agency through an Executive Order is unconstitutional, adding that the matter would be successfully challenged in court on grounds of lack of public participation.

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