Will Cuban doctors help cure Kenya’s ailing healthcare system?

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Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has recently signed a new cooperation agreement with Cuban Minister of Public Health, Dr. Jose Angel Portal Miranda. The agreement is expected to ensure that 101 Cuban specialists travel to Kenya as part of a medical exchange programme. Kenya’s healthcare system was devolved into the county governments from the national one after the promulgation of the new constitution in August 2010. The country is now divided into 47 counties under 47 governors. The process of devolution is one of the main pillars of this constitution, which partly means that the public decision-making process and a significant part of implementation fall under regional leadership. So when it comes to healthcare, the county governors are essentially responsible for decision-making as well as controlling resources within their county jurisdictions with regard to the health sector. What’s ailing Kenya's healthcare system? A report by Africa Health Business shows that approximately 25% of Kenyans have access to health insurance. These are covered under various platforms namely: public, private or community-based health insurance schemes. What this means is that the majority of Kenyans pay out of their pockets to gain access to health services. Now that is a problem. For

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Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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