• Last week, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the five would be replaced with a mega authority called the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority.
•On Thursday, governors rejected the proposal saying it is unconstitutional.
Governors have rejected a Cabinet proposal to disband all government programmes dealing with HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
This would affect the National Aids Control Council and National Aids and STIs control programme.
Also, the National Tuberculosis, Leprosy and Lung Disease programme, the division of National Malaria programme and the coordination of Community Health Services.
Last week, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the five would be replaced with a mega authority called the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority.
The Cabinet had already approved the proposal, he said.
The Cabinet memorandum also requires all donors and partners supporting health programmes in Kenya, including making any donations, to deal only with the proposed authority.
On Thursday, governors rejected the proposal saying it is unconstitutional.
They also accused the ministry of trying to steal health functions through the backdoor.
The county bosses said NACC was established in 1999 by an Executive Order issued under the State Corporations Act.
"The order has not yet been comprehensively reviewed to align it to the 2010 Constitution and the devolved system of governance,” the CoG head of Health Anyang Nyong’o said.
He also said the establishment of the authority as a state agency through an Executive Order is unconstitutional.
Nyong’o said the matter is likely to be successfully challenged in court on grounds of lack of public participation.
He also said service delivery functions relating to HIV, TB, Malaria, and community health services are mandates of the county governments under the fourth schedule of the constitution.
The governor said the functions cannot be unilaterally assigned to a national government agency without consent of the county governments.
“The establishment of the proposed authority through an Executive Order will amount to an unconstitutional amendment of several legislations that provide for these matters.
"These include the Health Act of 2017, the HIV Prevention and Control Act of 2006, the Public Health Act, the Malaria Prevention Act and the Public Finance Management Act of 2012,” he said.
Nyong’o said the rejection has already been communicated to the Ministry of Health and the committee of Principal Secretaries chaired by the solicitor general.
The proposal was announced by CS Kagwe in a letter to CoG chairman Martin Wambora.
Kagwe said the creation of the mega body would accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage.
“More importantly, it is expected to further decentralise problematic activities in line with devolution,” he said.
The CS said the National Strategic Health Programmes Authority would support county governments to enhance service delivery and promote community health.
It will also create synergies, quality assurances and efficiencies for both levels of government, he said.
“To strengthen the coordination of county governments to effectively respond to these diseases, the Council of Governors will be represented in the authority board,” Kagwe said.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)