By Dorothy Otieno, Internews In Kenya.
Did presidential candidates let good arguments get in the way of facts in the first debate hosted by Kenyan media at Brookhouse International School two weeks ago?
This is the question Internews in Kenya asked in an audit on the health promises the candidates made,
The results of the assessment establish that it will take immense resources and many years to fulfil some of the promises the eight presidential candidates made on health. For instance, achieving free quality primary health care, which most of the candidates said they would implement immediately they were sworn into office, would require the immediate hiring of 51, 455 thousand nurses and doubling of health centres and dispensaries around the country.
Nurses are the cornerstone of primary health care, yet Kenya has seven nurses for every 4,000 residents. The World Health Organisation recommends 14 nurses for every 4,000 residents. At the current cost of training new nurses it would cost an estimated Ksh 113 billion to train that number of nurses.
On February 22, Internews will hold The Politics of Health – a data discussion which holds presidential aspirants accountable. We will share the results of the audit and data journalism tools that will enable journalists to fact-check the promises the presidential candidates make during the second debate and in their party manifestos. The broader aim of the event is to provide journalists with the tools to reality-check pre-election promises and to track post-election performance.
There will be opportunity to interrogate the parties on their promises at the event.
The panelists include: Paul Kukubo, CEO Kenya ICT Board,Gatonye Gathura, Editor, The Standard , Dr Boniface Chitayi – TNA Secretary health affairs, Susan Mang’eni ODM, National Assembly Nominee, Dr. Abdi Mohamed – Chairperson, Kenya Medical Association (KMA), Nairobi and Dr. Charles Jakait Sagalo – Secretary general, RBK .
The roundtable will be moderated by Internews Country Director Ida Jooste .