The Journey to Universal Health Coverage

Since 2018, the government of Kenya has worked on a series of policies and pilots to support the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2022. UHC ensures that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. As part of this effort, a harmonised health benefit package (HBP), which includes both curative and preventative services delivered across all levels of care, was finalised in 2020 in the country. While there are several guidance documents on HBP definition, the literature on inclusion of disease programmes in the HBP is thin, especially when countries significantly rely on health funding from external partners. This issue is very topical in Kenya, where the reliance on external partners is acute in some programmes.

In this case study, we look at the inclusion of vertical programmes in the HBP entitlements in Kenya. Using the lens of the local policy context, we address the following key questions:

  1. How was the HBP developed and how were entitlements prioritised?

  2. What was the initial decision to exclude or include disease programmes into the HBP?

  3. What enablers were important in shaping those policy-decisions? Going forward, what are some of the anticipated challenges beyond the listing of entitlements?

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