Health

AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthMediaSocial AuditTechnology

A4T Roadshow – Eastlands

A4T Roadshow-01

On the 6th of October 2018, the A4T team was in Dagoretti area of Nairobi for its 2nd roadshow with an objective of  empowering citizens in this area to participate in governance processes of public funds in health and education, and to report suspected corruption through the Action for Transparency mobile App.

 

Among the team was a representation from Mtaani Radio, a community radio station based in Dagorreti, that the A4T team had partnered with in order to mobilise and publicise A4T Roadshow. The procession headed along Ngong road and made several stop-over’s around, Kaberia, Wanyee, Kikuyu Road, Ndonyo, Kawagware, and Kawagware 56. All stops were marked with dance,  entertainment and a lot of awareness building by the MC about the right of citizens to know and participate in public budgetary processes.

 

 

A4T Roadshow in Eastlands, Nairobi

 

The A4T project organised a roadshow in Eastlands area – Kamukunji – Starehe – Makadara – Buruburu – Outering road – Karibangi – Dandora and Juja Road on 24th November 2018. The roadshow’s objective was to inform and empower citizens in this area to participate in governance processes of public funds in health and education, and to report suspected corruption through the Action for Transparency mobile App.

This roadshow involved partnering with Ghetto Radio who helped in mobilisation of  participants through presenter mentions and a radio interview. Ghetto Radio is an urban radio station that is popular in Nairobi and its environs, especially amongst young people.

The caravan begun at Ngara, and then proceeded to Starehe Pumuani area and was a companied by a team of six members from Ghetto radio in their branded van. The first stop was at Majengo area near Gikomba market where many traders of second-hand clothing frequent. At this stop, the team assisted with four A4T advocates, was able to sensitise the public about the A4T project, and some of the participants were helped to download the A4T App into their mobile phones.

The procession headed to Shauri Moyo, Bama Market and Bahati area, making several stops where there was high pedestrian traffic.  During the stops, the MC briefed the people passing, over the public-address system about the roadshow, sensitising them on the importance of participating in budgetary processes and reporting corruption. It then continued to Maringo, Jericho, Makadara, Buruburu, and at Kariobangi South. Here, more people were reached and some given opportunity to speak over the public address system to share their sentiments about fighting corruption. During these stops, Ghetto Radio did live links, where it interviewed TI-Kenya Staff and advocate, which was live broadcasted in order to reach mass audience in awareness creation.

 

read more
AccountabilityHealthMedia

Mothers ignorant of Linda Mama miss out on free delivery services

Diana Kendi

In October 2016, the government, through the Health ministry, launched the Linda Mama, Boresha Jamii programme under the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The aim was to ensure pregnant women and infants have access to quality and affordable health services. Diana Kendi, A4T grantee, investigation highlights the lack of awareness of the program amongst mothers in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kiambu counties.

Since the introduction of the programme, county hospitals no longer receive cash for providing maternity services, but the funds to cater for the free maternity are paid through the NHIF as reimbursements for services offered or a better package for women.

Read more at The Star Newspaper.

Read more at The Star Newspaper.

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesHealth

Learning Circle on Transparency and Accountability in Health Financing

Picture1

Transparency International Kenya with the support of the Health Action Fund convened a Learning Circle on Health Financing on 9th November 2018 at Heron Portico Hotel in Nairobi. The Learning Circle sought to initiate discussions on Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models with the specific topics of discussion being:

  • Experience Sharing Working on Accountability in the Health Sector
  • Familiarisation of participants with Kenya’s Health Financing Models
  • Transparency and Accountability considerations in realising the Right to Health
  • Designing Working Strategies for Health Accountability

The meeting was attended by:

Experience Sharing Working on Accountability in the Health Sector

Titus Gitonga a Programme Officer from TI-Kenya presented on the various interventions by the organisation noting that TI-Kenya has over the years developed innovative approaches aimed at empowering citizens with information in order to effectively participate and demand accountability within the Health Sector. Among the innovative approaches adopted include:

  • The Mobile Drug Tracking System (MDTS) . MDTS is a web and mobile based platform used to track the availability and movement of drugs and pharmaceuticals at facility level. MDTS also incorporates citizen modules where information regarding availability of drugs can be accessed via location and facility and provides for a short code which allows for registration by users to get various updates regarding the drug groups.
  • Another innovative approach is the Action for Transparency (A4T) A4T is a Nairobi based project aimed at empowering citizens to monitor the allocation and utilisation of funds to public primary schools and health centres. The project incorporates the use of social accountability tools such as Public Expenditure Tracking surveys and social audits to track the flow of resources at health centres and disseminate the information through web and mobile based platforms including the A4T mobile App available for android and IOS phones.

  • The Health Sector has also been identified as being among the sectors highly affected by corruption. The 2017 East Africa Bribery Index (EABI) signifies that corruption in the form of bribery continues to be rife in provision of Medical and Health Services, identified as among the top ten most prevalent sectors in regard to bribery. Reporting bribery incidences also remains very low with an overwhelming majority (94%) of Kenyans who were surveyed indicating that they encountered bribery but did not report to any authority or person.
  • Following a report done by TI-Kenya, KELIN and the Society for International Development, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission went on to carry out a systems and procedures review of the Health Sector and also released a report titled, ‘Review of Systems, Polices, Procedures and Practices in the Pricing of Pharmaceutical and Non-Pharmaceutical Supplies in the Kenya Public Health Sector’. The EACC report among other findings highlights the systemic weaknesses and opportunities existing in the procurement and dispensing stages of pharmaceutical and non- pharmaceutical supplies in the public sector and recommends compliance with national specifications for medical and medical suppliers, disclosure of evaluation criteria in bid documents and capacity building in market survey to address noncompliance issues with national standard specifications for medical and medical suppliers in the acquisition stage.

Ms. Linda Wanjiru, a Programme Officer at KELIN familiarised participants on the work that KELIN has been doing in the Health Sector specifically in relation to governance,  pushing for transparency and accountability in accessing information and demanding for compliance with existing legal provisions on access to information, public participation  and prudent use of public resources. She indicated that in partnership with other organisations including TI-Kenya, Katiba Institute and ICJ-Kenya, they had submitted request for information letters to the Kenyatta National Hospital  (KNH) in relation to construction of a private hospital at KNH and another to the Council of Governors seeking information on the Agreement between Kenya and the Cuban Doctors with no response as at the time of the forum.

Ms. Wanjiru also indicated that through an initiative by OSEA, KELIN is leading the Health and Governance Convening – Kenyan Chapter. The Convening aims at enhancing collaborative work between different organisations working in the Health Sector and has since formed two working committees to assist in driving the accountability agenda including: Research and Evidence Gathering Committee; and the Litigation Committee. She invited participants to join in on the Convening and be part of the work being undertaken by the various organisations already in the committee.

Mr. Aggrey Aluso, the Health Rights Program Manager at OSEA also familiarised the participants with the organisation’s work supporting the Health Convening in Kenya and other participating countries including Uganda and also indicated that they were keen on supporting governance work on open contracting and good governance in the health sector.

Mr. George Githinji working on public budgets at TISA also gave a highlight on TISA’s experience in advancing public participation in the budget process. TISA also had a learning session on Private-Public-Partnerships for which the health sector also has had some huge investments around and would thus be interested in advancing these discussions.

EACHRights and ICJ-Kenya were in the initial stages of working in the Health Sector having participated in marketisation and privatisation of the health sector discussions initiated by OSEA.

Dr. Wala Elizabeth, the programme director for health systems strengthening at Amref Health Africa also indicated that the organisation was engaged in capacity building in Nairobi, Kwale, Kisumu and Vihiga of health practitioners on a health model that ensures continuous quality improvement in the delivery of health services in county and sub-county health facilities. The Kenya Quality Model for Health (KQMH) is a systems approach to strengthening quality health care in Kenya towards universal health coverage through training and mentorship using the national health information database (DHIS2).

Kenya’s Health Financing Models

This session was moderated by Dr. Matiko Riro. Dr. Matiko is a Doctoral Fellow in Health Economics at the University of Bergen in Norway. He is a medical doctor and a Commonwealth Scholar with an MSc in Public health (Health Economics) from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

It was noted that Kenya has made a commitment of accelerating its progress to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and has taken a number of steps to reform its healthcare system, to put it on the path to realising this goal.

Currently only 17 % of Kenyan households are covered by health insurance of any type, while the rest of the population relies either on donor aid, government spending or out of pocket spending for accessing health care. This makes the ambition to provide universal quality health care to all those in need, regardless of their ability to pay, a major undertaking that will require a major shift in the mechanisms and systems through which health is governed, financed and delivered.

Participants discussed the diagrammatic representation on flow of funds for the health sector below:

Participants described the flow of resources in the health sector as, “Confusing”, “Complicated”, “Inconsistent”, “Unrealistic”, “Incomprehensible”, among other adjectives describing just how complicated public financial flows in the health sector has become over the years. Some of the concerns raised on transparency and accountability in health financing include:

  • Lack of effective collaboration between the National and County Governments in designing effective laws, policies and guidelines for enhanced accountability on health finances;
  • Appropriation of County health functions by the National Government thereby also taking up budget allocations;
  • Lack of research to inform effective resource allocation and utilisation;
  • Corruption through inflated procurement costs for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products, equipment’s and services;
  • Unequal and inadequate distribution of health practitioners/professionals;
  • Unclear reporting structures for health outcomes in relation to the resources utilised;
  • Lack of adequate and effective avenues and structures for complaints handling and citizen engagement at the facilities and oversight structures;
  • Unclear insurance schemes for the public including the Kshs. 4 Billion Students insurance plan and other insurance schemes being implemented by different county governments.

Designing Working Strategies for Health Accountability

In view of the need for informed and effective development of working strategies to enhance transparency and accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing models, TI-Kenya would initiate a first round of research on the following areas of interest:

  1. Enabling Environment: any laws, policies, rules, or regulations, at both a national and county-level, that might impede the effectiveness of the various health financing models.
  2. Access to Information: the extent to which the identified health financing models are structured towards ensuring attainment of the highest attainable health standards including ensuring equitable, affordable and quality health care to all citizens.
  3. Public participation: the extent to which public health financing models allow for effective public participation in their formation and implementation including transparency, accountability and feedback mechanisms.
  4. Value for money: how the various health financing models respond to the need to ensure value for money in provision of services and health resources.

Participants also identified other opportunities and strategies to support realisation of the right to health including:

  • Collaborative research, evidence gathering and information sharing;
  • Collective action, advocacy and awareness creation;
  • Elaborate stakeholder engagements aimed at building consensus and influencing policy;
  • Policy reforms informed by the Constitutional provisions on the realisation of the Right to Quality Health Services, Access to Information, Public Participation and Prudent use of Public Resources;

A follow up engagement on this discussion would be called to validate the research results from an initial assessment on the highlighted areas on transparency and accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models.

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthMediaSocial AuditTechnology

Civil Society Ranks Jubilee as the Most Corrupt Administration

no thumb

TI-Kenya’s Executive Director, Mr. Samuel Kimeu with other civil society organisations marked this years’ African Anti-Corruption Day in 11th July 2018., asking the government to remain accountable in dealing with corruption suspects, and Kenyans to remain vigilant in the fight against corruption.

Video Curtesy of NTV.

 

read more
AccountabilityEducationHealthSocial Audit

Become an A4T Social Auditor for your Community

DSC_0129

By making it possible for all citizens to monitor government expenditure in the Health and Education Sectors in Nairobi, Action for Transparency, A4T, helps uncover suspected corruption and mismanagement of public funds. The Social Audits under the A4T project are aimed at determining the extent to which Government Services on Education and Health have managed to meet the requirements on Transparency Accountability and Participation of citizens.

If you would like to make an impact in your community as a social auditor please fill in this form and join the A4T Social Auditors Network

read more
AccountabilityEducationHealthMedia

Toxic sip: How safe is your bottled water?

DSC_0221

A4T grantee, and award winning journalists, Stellar Murumba, has published a story she has been investigating on the safety of bottled water being sold in Nairobi.

Four out of 10 samples of bottled water picked from different areas of Nairobi that were submitted for analysis at the government chemist, were found to be unfit for human consumption. The sampled water had high levels of fluoride – in excess of the World Health Organisation guideline limits of 0.3 parts per mililitre (ppm) for drinking water. They also had high levels of iron and were alkalinity.

Despite the immense health risks associated with excessive chemical components in drinking water, Kenya Bureau of Standards Corporate Communication Manager Patricia Kimanthi said that any water available in the market is compliant as per the Kenya and East Africa Community minimum and maximum standards.

Read Stellar Murumba’s article at the Daily Nation, Healthy Living, September 25, 2018. Click here for the online article.

read more
AccountabilityHealth

How medical negligence is robbing families of loved ones

Osman

Osman Mohamed Osman, A4T Investigative grantee, has been investigating cases of medical negligence in Kenya and the agony many citizens have had to go through without any remedy, which has led to loss of life. This article highlights what families are left to deal with after some medical negligence. Most doctors accused of causing permanent disabilities and death, are left unpunished due to poor investigations or lack of commitment from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDU).

Read below Osman’s investigative piece on the Standard Newspaper, September 24, 2018, page 10-11. Click here.

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthMediaTechnology

How media can avoid legal pitfalls in their work

Screen Shot 2018-09-19 at 07.51.13

by Victor Bwire

In an effort to balance many interests — including public interest which is the most important — the media sometimes report on issues which might increase the possibility of legal suits and harassment.

An example is the ongoing exposés of corruption in the public and private sectors.

As the media intensify efforts to expose graft, impunity and misuse of public resources, harassment and intimidation of journalists — including using courts which have been issuing huge defamation awards against media houses — are on the rise.

The search for documentary evidence and facts around public interest stories, particularly those that touch on plunder of public resources, has also become increasingly perilous for journalists.

It is for that reason that journalists need allies to partner with in the search for information to enable them generate accurate stories and avoid legal pitfalls.

Journalists and media houses would greatly insulate themselves from harassment, including judicial processes, if they adhered to the provisions in the Access to Information Act which requires that they write to relevant public agencies requesting for specific information.

They can also access information on open portals such as online platforms operated by public agencies or private citizens who comment on public matters.

The access and use of a myriad of ICT platforms and information posted on open data portals by public agencies has rendered access to important information that journalists need in their investigative work much easier and less expensive.

Platforms such as public agencies websites, the Kenya Open Data Portal, Integrated Financial Management Systems and social media accounts of government departments and public officials has increased the avenues for access to information that can help in holding government to account. 

A number of players have also come up with ways to enhance the availability of information which journalists can tap into to enrich their stories with facts and depth.

Institutions like Transparency International through interventions such as the Accountability for Transparency project (A4T) have come up with tools that empower members of the public to play a role in corruption prevention and monitoring.

In addition, the project has been mentoring journalists on use of various investigative skills, ICT tools and organising trainings by experienced journalists on how to investigate and produce in-depth stories.

Kenya is among the leading countries in use of web and mobile technologies.  The country had close to 95 per cent mobile penetration as at December 2017 with an uptake of smartphones was at 44 per cent and an internet usage of close to 50 per cent of the population.

Kenyans also have high presence on social media platforms at 49 per cent of population. This signifies the high potential for using these platforms to enhance transparency and accountability with the involvement of a majority of citizens.

This article was first published at the People Daily Newspaper, you can view this an more via this LINK—The writer is the programmes officer  at the Media Council of Kenya and a journalists safety trainer —victor@mediacouncil.or.ke

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthMediaTechnology

A4T Twitterthon at University of Nairobi School of Journalism

University of Nairobi Poster ALL-01

The Action for Transparency team organised a Social Media Engagement Forum (Twitterthon) on 3rd September 2018, at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Nairobi.

Just like the previous Twitterthon held at Kenyatta University in May 2018, the objective of this social media engagement forum was to involve the youth in the fight against corruption and creating awareness among them on issues of accountability within the Education and Health Sectors. The participants were involved in tweeting about the A4T App, its features, usability and usefulness in advancing transparency and accountability, as a form of raising awareness and motivating the attendees and the general public to track budgetary expenditure and report corruption through the App. This social media engagement targeted journalism students at Nairobi University school of Journalism.

This discussion themed Media’s Role in the fight against Corruption, begun by a short presentation about the A4T project. As journalism students, they were informed about the project’s engagement with journalists through systematic/in-depth media forums, and advocacy missions for research and reporting, training of investigative journalists in unearthing of corruption cases through heavy use of public records and data.  The A4T team offered them a platform and resource to publish their stories – on the A4T journalist’s knowledge portal and website.

The Twitter hashtag #A4TApp was used in the tweets to track engagement  and as a motivational token for taking part in this engagement, the A4T team offered an award of airtime to buy Internet bundles to the top three individuals with the highest number of tweets. The hashtag #A4TApp, recorded 561 tweets, with a total combined reach of 819,864 online users.

Below are sampled tweets from the students of SOJMC – UoN…

Ngugi Gatua‏ @ngugigatua Sep 3

Media acts as the watchdog in that they help to reveal corrupt leaders and individuals to the citizens and holding them accountable @a4tkenya @TIKenya #A4TAPP

Dickens_Ngicho‏ @ngicho_dickens Sep 3

#a4tapp, Transparency International giving UoN students a talk on corruption and how to cover cases about corruption during journalistic practice. @TIKenya @A4TKENYA

Philip Nyamai‏ @NyamaiPhilip Sep 3

@a4tkenya @TIKenya does a major role in training journalist in investigation and seeks to raise awareness about integrity, transparency and accountability. #A4TApp

Jack Mula‏ @JMOkanga Sep 3

#A4TApp allows you to confidentially report any corruption cases across Kenya. Download on Google play store, install and join the race towards a corruption free society. @a4tkenya, @TIKenya

Michael Marcel‏ @OkothOtieno15 Sep 3

#A4TAPP Ensuring public funds are accounted for. It’s time! @TIKenya @A4TIKenya

John Mulei‏ @johnymulei07 Sep 3

#A4TAPP Transparency International is doing all it can to ensure that public fund is well spent. Kenya we are tired of embezzlement of public funds even in Primary school and with this move Kenya is headed for the right direction. Komesha ufisadi @Tikenya @a4tikenya

 

You can follow our conversations through our twitter handle @A4TKenya and facebook Action for Transparency Kenya. Thank you School of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Nairobi, stay posted for our next visit to a university near you.

More photos! Follow this LINK.

read more
AccountabilityHealth

Kenya’s Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Burden

DSC_0203-2

Iqra Salah, A4T grantee, has been investigating Kenya’s growing burden of drug resistant Tuberculosis. DR-TB is exerting a significant strain on the country’s economy and the health of the patients. It is six times more expensive to treat the disease per episode than it is drug-sensitive Tuberculosis, notwithstanding the severe side effects.

See the video below of Africa Uncensored’s Iqra Salah as she spoke to one of the patients whose condition is worsening as he can’t afford medication despite being covered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

read more