Introduction

The Kakamega County Health Reference Group is a network of like-minded organizations that seek to advocate for provision of high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare services in Kakamega County. Even though the County Government of Kakamega has been at the forefront to ensure healthy lives and promotion of well-being of the people of Kakamega, there still exists healthcare delivery gaps and overwhelming health needs that should be addressed by the county’s Ministry of Health, which underscores the role of Kakamega County Health Reference Group and Hakijamii in advocating for the right to good health and well-being.

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Participants in their small groups discussing various components of the memorandum

Objectives
1. To strengthen the capacity of the Kakamega Health Reference Group with regards to participation within the Policy and Legislative Processes, and align the group’s activities strategically with the ongoing public participation on budget making processes.
2. To deliver a joint Petition to the County Assembly of Kakamega calling for decisive policy framework protecting the young mothers from victimization as well as domestication of the reentry guidelines at county level.
3. To develop a budget memorandum calling for the allocation of resources supporting increased access to quality and affordable health care services.

Challenges

1. Most health facilities in Shamakhubu, Matawa and Nyapora, and Mumias West level IV hospital have not been completed, renovated, equipped or operationalized.
2. Non-Communicable Diseases including asthma, epilepsy, mental health, hypertension and diabetes were becoming a health burden but had not been getting special attention from the county government.
3. According to the county’s Annual Development Plan, the budgetary allocations toward health have either not been disbursed or has been misappropriated / redirected to other sectors.
4. There is no budgetary allocation for re-entry and prevention of early and unintended pregnancies program in the County Fiscal Strategy Paper and the Annual Development Plan.

Action Point
1. Participants to use the recommendations from the photo essay report to draw the petition for re-entry of victims of teenage unintended pregnancies in educational institutions.
2.Based on the health priority areas and gaps in health financing from the health scorecard, develop a memorandum to advance legal and legislative frameworks that would enhance allocation of more resources to health services.

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Our water health and sanitation programs officer @jumaomala
facilitating the county health services scorecard

Conclusion
The engagement led to the development of a memorandum that called for resource allocation for 3 major health care priorities; health facilities, Non-Communicable Diseases and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, and a petition to the Kakamega County Assembly Budget and Appropriations Committee on the right to access to education for teenage mothers.
During the development of these key advocacy and measurement tools on health and education governance, the participants’ capacities were also strengthened on these effective strategies to engage in policy and legislation.
The submission of the memorandum and the petition also enhanced the Kakamega County Health Reference Group’s effectiveness in relation to the active participation in county policy and legislative processes.
Furthermore, the participants refreshed their knowledge of the county government’s health priorities as stipulated in the development documents, and were able to identify gaps and rally for action to address those gaps. They also got a chance to interact with 2 major reports that they
participated in their research; the photo essay and the community health scorecard.
The group further identified the need to follow up on the memorandum and the petition after 30 days of submission, and monitor progress on their implementation.