NAIROBI, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Thursday urged Kenya to reduce its reliance on foreign funding for the health sector.
Michael Corlin, UN children's fund (UNICEF) Advisor on Funding and Financing told Xinhua in Nairobi that currently about one third of all health expenditure is funded by international donors in the country.
"Kenya needs to reduce its reliance on foreign funding as the sources are likely to dry up in the next five to six years due to the country's status as a low middle income nation," Corlin said on the sidelines of the Universal Health Coverage Day.
The day is celebrated annually to commemorate the UN resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person worldwide.
Corlin said that over the next several years Kenya will lose approximately one billion U.S. dollars in health sector funding as the financiers move to low income countries.
Most of the funding to be lost targets essential healthcare services such as nutritional supplies, immunization, maternal and child health.
The UNICEF official noted that the loss of funds will further complicate Kenya's efforts to achieve universal health care.
He added that Kenya needs to devote an additional 1.4 billion dollars to the healthcare sector in order to achieve the level of health spending of other low middle income nations in Eastern and Southern Africa.
Corlin noted that Kenya needs to begin discussions with stakeholders on how to replace the health sector funding before it is withdrawn.
He said that some of the possible sources of funds to enhance the domestic health budget include additional taxation measures, establishment of a health trust fund or reallocation of other government funds to the health sector.