In Summary
  • Staff selection to attend training is not objective and rarely serves the purpose of capacity development for skills enhancement.
  • For counties to achieve UHC and maximise health outcomes, investments in capacity building will need to be objective.

According to the World Health Organization, universal health coverage (UHC) is achieved when all people can obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.

This means that all can access effective promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services that they need, of sufficient quality, without undergoing financial strain.

Capacity building is the process by which individuals and organisations obtain, improve and retain the skills and knowledge needed to do their jobs competently.

It relates to human resources, institutional and infrastructural capability, networks and partnerships.

The two priorities of health human resources are training and skills development; whereas solid institutional and infrastructural capacities ensure functional efficient health systems that support delivery of UHC for sustainable health outcomes.

In Kenya, the various training institutions release workforce to the health sector every year.

For the health sector, innovations and research inform clinical practices and policies, hence the need for continuous updates for workers.

Health managers and planners agree that capacity building is crucial in the development of the necessary structures and systems as well as competencies and capabilities for personnel to deliver health services.

However, the approach to capacity building is unstructured and coupled with challenges, rendering its purpose ineffective and intentions unachieved.

Additionally, most of the capacity building in Kenya is donor-supported and -driven; serving programmatic needs to deliver specified health indicators; hence, lacking the right mix in diversity to suit all healthcare workers.

Staff selection to attend training is not objective and rarely serves the purpose of capacity development for skills enhancement.

It’s often the preserve or reward for loyalty and a source of extra income for senior managers.

Most senior staff grab every opportunity for training to nominate themselves or their cronies and earn an extra income through allowances or per diem — at the expense of targeted staff who perform the relevant roles and need the skills to improve services.

In many public health facilities, most of the training is programme donor-driven and, as such, tailored to respond to specified service delivery outcomes or indicators.

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