Referral System Strengthening

MEASURE Evaluation PIMA supports Kenya’s Ministry of Health in strengthening the referral system to ultimately ensure patients receive high quality care that is accessible, equitable, affordable, and responsive to their needs for better health outcomes, as highlighted in the 2010 Kenyan constitution.

The Government of Kenya has identified the strengthening of the health referral system as one of the priority investment flagship projects of the Second Medium Term Plan of its Vision 2030, the Kenya Health Policy 2013-2030, and the Kenya Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan 2013-2018.

The Government of Kenya has identified the strengthening of the health referral system as one of the priority investment flagship projects of the Second Medium Term Plan of its Vision 2030, the Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030, and the Kenya Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan 2014-2018.

Some of the challenges within the referral system include: lack of standardized tools to communicate and document referrals; poor coordination and linkages within and between facilities; non-compliance with referrals; weak referral monitoring systems; and inadequate referral infrastructure and financing.

MEASURE Evaluation PIMA (MEval-PIMA) supports Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) in strengthening the referral system to ensure patients ultimately receive high quality care that is accessible, equitable, affordable, and responsive to their needs for better health outcomes, as highlighted in the 2010 Kenyan constitution. In 2014, MEval-PIMA supported the MOH in the finalization of the health sector referral strategy and the development of referral guidelines, as well as an orientation package that was used to train approximately 2,000 health workers in 10 counties on the management of the health referral systems.

Key areas of focus:

  • Working at the national level to develop policy documents (e.g., referral strategy and guidelines) and supporting the capacity building of health workers on referral systems at the sub-national level;
  • Needs assessment in the counties to identify gaps in the referral system and develop corrective action plans;
  • Stakeholder mapping, analysis, and engagement to guide the introduction of referral systems strengthening support and avoid duplication of effort in the supported counties;
  • Development of coordination structures for referrals at the national and sub-national levels, through support for the formation of technical working groups, referral units, and/or identification of focal persons for referrals, and;
  • Improved monitoring of referral services, especially for HIV, and building referral linkages among services.

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