The Council of Governors (COG) has called for direct partnership between county governments and development partners to speed up implementation of development projects.

Speaking during a meeting with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation led by its Co-founder Bill Gates, COG Chair Anne Waiguru said County Governments need more direct collaborations.

Waiguru identified funding of primary health care initiatives in counties of to enhance their capacity towards realizing Universal Health Coverage in Kenya as among areas of collaboration.

She also called for support for advocacy programs on Reproductive Health to tame teen and adolescent pregnancy and support to establish child day-care homes for the young mothers.

She noted improvements in the health sector under devolution including reduced maternal mortality rate from 364 per 100,000 live births in 2013 to 355 per 100,000 live births in 2021.

The COG chair indicated that the neonatal mortality in Kenya had also reduced significantly from 23 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013 to 20 deaths in 2021.

Waiguru is proposing that the Service Delivery Redesign program be scaled up to enable it to cover all the 47 county governments to reduce child mortality rates further in Kenya.

She noted that the direct partnership with donors would strengthen primary healthcare through capacity building of community health volunteers, traditional birth attendants and technology such as point of care ultra sound and the application of artificial intelligence.

The Kirinyaga Governor assured the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of the support of the COG and counties to ensure sustainable and optimal gain from the its investments in the 47 devolved units.

She sought Gates’ support in technology through automation of services in health, revenue collection, agricultural extension services, waste management as well as urban planning and development.

Waiguru called for collaboration in enhancing value addition saying counties are pouring Sh35 billion into agriculture by providing agricultural inputs to farmers, reducing costs of mechanization and other value addition initiatives.