Sh14.3 billion set aside for COVID-19 vaccination

The National Treasury has allocated the Ministry of Health Kes 121.1 billion under the 2021/22 budget, a slight increase from Kes 112 billion in the last financial year.

The country’s greatest health challenge, the Covid-19 pandemic, has been allocated Kes 15.4 billion of which Ksh3.9 billion will be for procuring vaccines and Sh9.5 billion for engagement of specialists, tests and supplying health fatalities with equipment.

The government has also allocated Kes 14.3 billion to facilitate the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

Unveiling the 2021/2022 budget in Parliament on Thursday June 10, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani pointed out that the government is keen on creating herd immunity through vaccination to battle the pandemic which has so far claimed over 3,000 lives in Kenya.

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“In order to facilitate further rollout of the vaccines to create herd immunity we propose to allocate Kes 14.3 billion in the 2021/2022 budget. This is in addition to Kes 7.6 billion appropriated in the current budget,” said Mr Yatani.

However, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has criticized Covid-19 allocation as “hardly adequate given the estimation that the cost of vaccinating 30 per cent of the population is Sh34 billion” meaning there will be overreliance on donors.

PBO has also raised issues with underfunding mental health management with a paltry Sh200 million allocated to the Mathari Teaching and Referral Hospital to modernize wards and staff houses.

CS Yatani has proposed to allocate Kes 47.8 billion to National referral and specialized services, an increase from Sh43.8 billion in the 2020/21 financial year, while Ksh10.2 billion will be allocated to health research.

The ministry of health has been allocated Kes 22.5 billion for development projects for preventive, promotive and reproductive health.

Programs that help check maternal and infant mortality have been allocated Sh1.6 billion, an increase from Sh422 million.

The Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret will get Sh120 million for construction and equipment of a children’s hospital.

Interventions for malaria, TB and HIV which “are all largely dependent on donor funding and there have been challenges such as the recent shortage of ARVs due to a dispute between the US aid agency and the Kenyan government,” added the PBO report.

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