Accelerating Universal Health Coverage


In 2008, Population Services Kenya (PS Kenya) began a journey that provided over 3.5 million Kenyans with better healthcare each year. The Tunza Family Health Network was established in response to a need that PS Kenya had observed in its work delivering reproductive and family health services to underserved communities. Developed as a social health franchise, Tunza provides family health services through an innovative franchise model.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) steadily gained traction as a viable model for increasing access to, providing financing for, and delivering equitable health services across the globe. Endorsed as a UN resolution in December 2012, UHC found its home nationally as part of the current government’s Big Four policy agenda. Kenya had the distinct advantage of a national insurance fund that could accelerate the achievement of this goal. An estimated 15 million people were under coverage in 2017, mainly those in the formal sector, which NHIF had originally been mandated to cover. Products like SupaCover played a crucial role in serving Kenyans in the informal sector, and registrations were likely to continue as more people learned of the advantages of coverage.

A significant challenge was ensuring that, once one had a card in hand, there was an easily-accessible facility that could provide quality services on-demand. PS Kenya’s work in increasing the number of Tunza network members who were accredited by NHIF and, therefore, available for the public to receive services from, was instrumental in the path towards UHC.