KENYA – Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched the 4th Edition of the manual of clinical procedures in Nursing and Midwifery & entry level scope of practice for Nurses and midwives in Kenya.

The Manual of Clinical Procedures in Nursing & Midwifery, captures fundamentals of Nursing; Medical-Surgical Nursing; Midwifery and Obstetrics Nursing; Mental Health and Psychiatric Nursing and Community Health Nursing.

These documents signify a milestone in fulfilling the function of improving, promoting, and protecting the health of Kenyans as well as their wellbeing through Health Policy and Standards Management.

The ministry recognizes the fundamental role nurses and midwives play in achieving Universal Health Care, the Kenya Vision 2030 & the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on GOAL 3 – Good Health & Wellbeing that seeks to ensure healthy lives & promote wellbeing for all, at all ages,” Dr Rashid Aman, Health CAS.

In his speech, Cabinet Secretary Sen. Mutahi Kagwe underscored the critical role played by nurses and midwives in healthcare provision through management of caseloads of patients.

Access to primary healthcare is crucial for the delivery of Kenya’s universal health coverage policy. However, disparities in Kenyan healthcare have proved to be the biggest challenge for implementing primary care in poor-urban resource settings.

Two years ago, the Kenyan government piloted a universal health coverage program in four of its 47 counties, easing access to health services for millions of people.

It has since added more than 200 community health units, with 7700 community health volunteers and over 700 health workers have been recruited. The first year of the pilot phase saw over 1.6 million more hospital visits recorded.

The abolition of all fees at local and secondary level health facilities widely expanded access to health services in the four pilot counties that were selected because of a high prevalence of communicable and noncommunicable diseases, high population density, high maternal mortality, and high incidence of road traffic injuries.

The government is now scaling up universal health coverage based on the experiences from the pilot phase and will focus on further reforming its national hospital insurance fund, establishing a mandatory universal health coverage scheme, adopting an essential package of health services, and providing health coverage for an initial 1 million low-income households to be biometrically registered.

Investments made under the first phase of the universal health coverage have helped in the COVID-19 response, says Dr Nelson Muriu, the director of the County Health Department in Nyeri, a central Kenya region which was among the four pilot counties selected for the health coverage scheme.

The World Health Organization is supporting the government by providing technical assistance in key areas including health financing such as reforming the national hospital insurance fund, developing and using information on financial risk protection as well as supporting the establishing a digital health platform and a national health observatory.