I am writing this letter addressed to you Hon. Mutahi Kagwe, the Cabinet Secretary for Health acknowledging the commitment, focus and determination you have exhibited since taking over the docket. Its tough being a health CS in a sick country with over dozed cartels fueled by corruption injected tenderprenuers working with some public agencies that have dirty hands, cannot isolate from bad behavior or keep social distance from stealing from Kenyans even in a face of such pandemic as COVID19. But as ever, you are a tough Kenyan and might try the establishment of the health Commission to oversee provision of health services to Kenyans. By the way, the Teachers Service Commission, the Public Service Commission, the National Police Service Commission, among other commissions in other sectors has not been a very bad experiment. While you have shown to be a very good media consumer and follower, I am not sure you will get time to read this.
It’s unfortunate that you took over the health docket in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which then has seen the implementation of mitigation measures including military, public health, and legal interventions, Kenyans unwilling kutambua that the virus exists, problematic government communication architecture, an endemic cartel system at the ministry of health (former Ministers; Fred Angatia, Dr Amukowa Anangwe, Charity Ngilu dealt with similar lethal ones), devolved health ministry with centralized services, governors with mixed priorities, overstretched and demoralized health professionals. Am sure while the drugs, testing kits and other small stories have surprised you, try the payroll, touching on ghost health workers and you will see the mother of all battles with the cartels.
Other commitment by the government including providing 15 per cent of the national budget to health as committed through the Abuja Declaration have failed, regulation of medical health, implementation of a fully functional universal access to health as per the President’s big agenda and halting the migration of health professionals from the country because of poor or leaking financing are still struggling. The leasing of medical equipment and the centralization of the medical and drugs supplies and the attendant massive failure and accountability is a lesson that has gone into the country’s history as the worst approach for the national government doing devolved functions.