NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will launch the
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pilot program on Dec. 1 and the
program is expected to benefit over 3 million people, the
presidency said on Tuesday.
The UHC pilot will
be rolled out in the four counties of Isiolo, Kisumu, Nyeri and
Machakos before it is finally scaled up to cover the rest of the
country, State House said in a statement issued after a
committee co-chaired by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki
and Isiolo Governor Mohammed Kuti briefed the president on their
preparations ahead of the pilot program launch.
“The new UHC package
will benefit at least 3.2 million Kenyans in the four pilot
counties and is expected to contain a new bouquet of services
accessible to Kenyans in public health facilities,” it said.
Kenyatta who met
with the UHC Inter-Governmental Committee in Nairobi encouraged
the governors to actively participate in an intensive
sensitization exercise in the month of November before the pilot
project is launched.
He said the success
of the pilot program in the four counties will give clearance
for full-scale roll-out of UHC.
Health experts have
hailed the program saying that it will contribute towards
achievement of UHC and will enhance the country’s capacity for
early warning, risk reduction and management of national and
global health risks, disease outbreaks and other public health
events of international concern.
According to the
government, the decision to pilot the program in the four
counties was evidence-based considering their disease burdens.
Kisumu in Western
Kenya was identified because it leads in the infectious diseases
category especially for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis while Machakos
in eastern region records the highest numbers of injuries mostly
from accidents occurring along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway
and the many winding roads in the county.
According the Health
Ministry, Nyeri is part of the pilot because it leads in the
non-communicable diseases segment especially diabetes while in
Isiolo, the government will seek to establish how the package is
well suited for nomadic and migratory populations.
embrace bio-pesticides to fight fall army worm
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The majority of farmers in Africa have turned to
bio-pesticides to fight the fall army worm (FAW) that is
ravaging food crops in the continent, according to a study
launched here on Monday.
The study, by the
Center for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), was
conducted in 19 African countries early this year, using the
latest version of the national lists of registered pesticides.
It found that
bio-pesticides have proven to be effective in combating the fall
and effective intervention such as bio-pesticide is becoming
popular with farmers in the FAW-infested countries,” said CABI
Integrated Crop Management Adviser and lead researcher Melanie
The study looked at
50 bio-pesticide active ingredients that have been registered in
11 countries in FAW’s native range where farmers have been
managing this pest for centuries and 19 in Africa where it is
The study was
conducted in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Malawi,
Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa,
Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. Tunisia was also included in
the analyses as representing the Mediterranean countries that
may be at risk of fall army worm invasion.
Of the products
studied, 23, including Neem and Bacillus thuringiensis and sex
pheromones and microbials that are registered within sub-Saharan
Africa, are recommended for further consideration.
products included 417 botanicals, 274 microbial and 271
microbial extracts or fermentation products.
Bateman called on
governments to start subsidizing bio-pesticides where they are
not locally available and also consider opportunities for their
production locally in partnership with the private sector to
enhance their access.
The study also found
that several African governments have given out insecticides to
farmers, including some highly hazardous products.
“While some farmers
might be willing to pay a premium for a lower risk product, many
smallholder maize farmers in Africa already have small margins,
so (they) will seek to minimize the additional cost of
controlling a new pest such as the fall army worm,” Bateman
The Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has
developed a Framework for Partnership which emphasizes
alternatives to pesticides, such as microbial and their
extracts, botanicals, semi-chemicals, inorganic biochemicals,
predators and parasitoids.