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Ensuring equal access to health services

The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to health care services – regardless of sex and age – is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.  However, socially constructed patterns of behaviour and relations still translate into major health inequities for women and men, girls and boys, and gender equality and mainstreaming in the Kenyan health sector is still limited.

The third phase of the Health Sector Programme Support III (HSPS III) is in line with Danish development priorities, including gender equality, primary health care, sexual and reproductive health and rights, women and children, and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Support to the health sector complements and provides room for synergy with the other components in the Kenya development cooperation programme. HSPS III contributes to poverty alleviation and improving access to health services for poor and vulnerable groups by emphasising the need for equitable allocation of essential medicines and financial resources to the lower levels of care and rationalisation of capital investments.

The Kenyan National Health Policy builds on a rights based approach, which includes gender as a priority, but the gender focus is still in its infancy. As a separate component under HSPS III, Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) receive particular attention with a total budget allocation of DKK 40 million over a five year period.

The SRHR-component will complement the first two components by implementing direct interventions in the field of sexual reproductive health and rights. The support will make services available to hard to reach target groups and enable civil society to advocate for sexual reproductive health and rights, e.g. abortion and homosexual issues, which are sensitive in Kenya. In addition, HSPS III – through the community strategy and emphasis on health facility management committees and social accountability – enhances capacity to take gender aspects into account in the formulation of health plans at district and facility levels.

HSPS III also advocates for sex disaggregation of data recorded by the government’s data management system, thus consolidating the gains made under HSPS II. There are several opportunities in the programme to integrate gender issues and support health sector’s effort to institutionalise a gender approach, which will be done during implementation.

If you would like to read more about the Gender Mainstreaming Strategy for Danida Health Sector support, please read the document below.

Health Sector Gender Analysis

ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY
13 RUNDA DRIVE,
RUNDA
P.O. BOX 40412-00100 GPO
NAIROBI
Tel: +254 20 7122848/ 7122849/7122850/7122851
Fax: +254 20 7120638
Email: nboamb@um.dk