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Relevance of Cash Transfer Programme on Access to Quality Healthcare among Refugees in Kakuma Camp, Kenya

Cash transfers may have direct and indirect impact on health status of refugees in camps. The cash transfer programme in Kakuma camp was intended to help refugees realize improved social welfare but experience indicates that refugees continue to face a backlash when it comes to social development dimensions including access to quality healthcare. Therefore, this study sought to establish the impact of cash transfer programme on access to quality healthcare among refugees in Kakuma camp. Social systems theory, resilience theory and social development model guided the study. A convergent parallel mixed method design was adopted. The sample size was 400 comprising of 370 refugees selected using simple random, 5 key informants and 25 refugee community leaders selected purposively. Questionnaires, interviews and FGDs were used. SPSS analysed quantitative data while thematic analysis was for qualitative data. Tables, graphs, charts and verbatives were employed. Findings revealed that there was a significant relationship between cash transfer and access to quality healthcare among refugees in Kakuma camp (P- = 0.133>0.05). The study concluded that cash transfer has not had much contribution on improving access to quality healthcare among refugees in Kakuma camp. The impact of cash transfer was too little because it mostly related to the transportation to health facilities. These findings had professional implications to social policy and welfare social work practice as its focus was premised on the wellbeing among refugees. The study recommends that UNHCR and its partners and GoK should strategize to include the component of healthcare in the cash transfer programme by providing supplementary funding to households to cater for healthcare. Subsequently, health insurance covers for refugees should be integrated in the cash transfer programme to facilitate specialized healthcare outside Kakuma camp and aid refugees suffering from terminal diseases like cancer which need extensive resources for treatment.

Key words: Cash transfer, Camp, Quality healthcare, Refugees

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