Kenya Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge addresses a news conference at the Central Bank of Kenya headquarters in Nairobi
INTERNATIONAL - Kenya will increase budgetary allocation towards training of healthcare workers and acquisition of technologies in order to boost response to a rising disease burden, officials said on Thursday.

Saitoti Torome, principal secretary of the State Department for Planning, said the government is committed to bridge skills and technological hiccups that have undermined provision of quality healthcare services.

"The government is committed to improving livelihoods of citizens through provision of quality, affordable and accessible health services," said Torome. Achieving that goal requires huge investments in workforce, infrastructure, technologies and commodities, he added.

Torome spoke during the launch of 2018 Kenya Health Service Delivery Indicator Survey Report that shed light on the capacity of hospitals and clinics across the 47 counties in Kenya to respond to emerging diseases.

More than 3,094 health facilities were covered in the survey that was conducted by government agencies in partnership with the World Bank and UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The survey revealed that Kenya's health facilities have benefited from state-funded modernization program but required additional investments to tackle challenges like drugs shortage and inadequate workforce.

"For Kenya to make rapid progress towards universal health coverage, a health system needs to have skilled human resources, commodities, leadership and good governance," said the study.

Wekesa Masasabi, acting director general in the Ministry of Health, said the government has enacted robust policies to promote delivery of quality healthcare to populations in under-served regions.

"We are committed to ensuring that no citizen is denied access to medical services due to financial constraints by ensuring they have a health insurance cover," said Masasabi.

He said the health ministry and partners have invested in home-grown innovations to boost response to the rising burden of noncommunicable diseases like cancers and diabetes.

Masasabi said the government has prioritized strengthening of referral system and governance to promote seamless delivery of health services to citizens.

XINHUA