Nyongo Opposes Direct Payment to CHWs by National Government

Nyongo Opposes Direct Payment to CHWs by National Government

Kisumu County Governor Prof Peter Anyang' Nyong'o has announced that the county government will not allow the national government to directly pay stipends to community health workers (CHWs). Instead, the county insists any such support must come as a conditional grant to the county.

Community Health Workers Payment by National Government in Kenya

In a press statement issued on March 8, 2024, Governor Nyong'o outlined the legal and constitutional reasons behind this stance. He cited Schedule 4 of Kenya's 2010 Constitution, which assigns the management and promotion of primary health care, including community health services, as a function of county governments.

Furthermore, the Primary Health Care Act of 2023 mandates that the national government appropriate and transfer funds to county revenue funds for purposes like paying CHW stipends. "It is unconstitutional for the Ministry of Health to directly pay these stipends, as it circumvents the intended process outlined in the law," the statement read.

Governor Nyong'o emphasized that direct payment by the national government undermines the supervisory role counties have over CHWs according to the Primary Health Care Act. This could lead to a lack of accountability and transparency.

"County governments are responsible for supervising and supporting CHWs," Nyong'o stated. "Direct payment by the National Government undermines this supervisory role."

Nyong'o said that his decision is based on "legal and constitutional grounds" as well as "principles of good governance, accountability, and the autonomy of county governments."

He urged the national government to respect the law and provide support through acceptable legal methods like conditional grants. 

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