Sh23bn for maternal health sent to counties

The counties have received the first tranche of a Sh23 billion grant from the World Bank to improve maternal and child health.

Treasury yesterday said Sh1.964 billion has been sent to the 47 counties in two installments.

This is the first disbursement for the five-year programme jointly funded by the WB at Sh20 billion and the Danish Development Agency that gave Sh3 billion. The programme runs until 2021.

Sh714 million of the Danida funds were sent to the counties on December 20, with Turkana getting the lion’s share of Sh30 million and Lamu the lowest at Sh5.9 million. Nairobi was the only county not awarded.

Health Principal Secretary Julius Korir said the counties must use the monies to improve dispensaries and health centres.

“This grant shall be used exclusively to support the operation and maintenance of Level 2 and Level 3 public health facilities as indicated in the approved county health annual work plan and facilities allocation criteria agreed upon with respective county governments,” he said.

From the WB, Treasury released Sh1.25 billion on December 13, with Bungoma, Kakamega, Mandera, Turkana and Wajir each getting Sh50 million – the highest amount.

“The amount in respect to your county was credited to your county revenue fund account on December 13, 2017,” Treasury head of accounting services and quality assurance Bernard Ndung’u said.

Tharaka Nithi, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, and Embu were give Sh10 million, which was the least amount.

The project, known as the Transforming Health Systems for Universal Care Project, is being financed under WB’s Global Financing Facility Framework.

“It aims at improving the quality of primary health care services with a focus on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services in the country,” WB senior economist Dr Jane Chuma said last year.

Embu county was last year named as the first to comply with all the requirements.

The Health PS last year said the Council of Governors and the ministry had recruited seven project staff to work on the programme.

He said all counties must prepare an annual work plan stating the activities to be supported by the grants.

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