UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE ON HEALTH AND WELFARE OF RESIDENTS OF MAKUENI COUNTY: A CASE STUDY OF MBOONI SUB COUNTY HOSPITAL, MAKUENI COUNTY
Kimanzi, Lydia M
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Kenya implemented UHC as part of its key priority agendas with aspiration to have it achieved across the nation by 2022. This influenced the establishment of Makueni Care that is a vital health financing program that allows registered households to access free services at public hospitals. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of Universal Health Care on health and welfare of residents in Makueni County, using Mbooni Sub County Hospital as a case study.The study was to determine whether implementation of Universal Health Care (UHC) had any effect on the health and welfare of residents of Makueni County. The literature review covered both local and international researches on the topic. Critical analysis was done on the similarities and differences in the approaches used in local and international researches related to the study. The study used descriptive research design. The target population was all the residents of Makueni County. The study limited itself to 416 patients of Makueni County who visited who Mbooni Sub county Hospital between January to April 2018. Stratified random sampling was used to select the participants for the study. Strata was divided into; Inpatients and outpatients. From each stratum 30% of participants were selected using simple random sampling technique. A total of one hundred and twenty four (124) patients participated in the study. A questionnaire on effects of UHC on health and welfare was developed by the researcher for the study. Pilot study was done to ensure validity and reliability of the research instrument. Simple Linear regression was used to analyze effects of UHC on health and welfare of Makueni residents. Descriptive data was analyzed using frequencies and percentages and presented through tables and figures. The research established that the achievement of UHC in Mbooni sub-county had played a significant role in enhancing the economy of the region by ensuring that the residents are able to set aside funds to cater for their needs. It has also alleviated poverty and contributed to the sustainable development of the region. Additionally, the implementation of UHC was vital in enhancing job opportunities since it attracted individuals with the needed skills. The UHC programme played a fundamental role in alleviating the suffering of the people of Mbooni subcounty. The study concluded that Universal Health Care ultimately guarantees financial protection by providing a shield against the catastrophic and impoverishing consequences of out-of-pocket expenditure. The research recommendations of the study were that the programme needed to involve local communities as a means of achieving true accountability and ensure real access to information. It is recommended that the money allocated to the health sector and how it is spent should be accounted for to the communities. It was also recommended that the capital expenditure should be focused on enhancing the quality of healthcare by building new facilities or purchasing equipment to care for more people in the future. It is also recommended that the system should primarily invest in and direct resources towards building the capacities of the public health sector, not in creating opportunities to generate private profits. Since this was a case study, another study should be conducted for all the hospitals of Makueni County.