The Kenyan Health System Essay

2313 words - 10 pages

Kenya is a developing country in East Africa region with a total land area of 582,646 km2. It gained independence in 1963 from British colonial rule. It is neighbor to Somalia and Sudan which have experienced political instability marred with civil strife but the country has remained relatively stable despite the effects of such on socio-economic status of the country. According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (2010), Kenya has 38.6 million people with a growth rate of 2.8% annually with a majority population living in rural areas (World Bank, 2010). Under its current constitution (promulgated in 2010), Kenya is headed by a president with a devolved county government system ...view middle of the document...

Financing of health care is by government, donors, (NGOs) and the private sector. However, the constitution of Kenya, vision 2030, MDGs and other policies provide a framework towards realization of health goals. Strong relationship with various developmental partners, strong private sector and civil society also strengthen the country’s growth potential (Government of Kenya 2010, 2011).
Kenya is a leader in East Africa; it enjoys stability despite spill over from surrounding countries such as Somalia. It is the biggest economy in the region and has experienced growth over years but still inequalities exist among the few rich and the majority who are poor (UNICEF, 2013). There has been improvement in health education and service delivery over the last 10 years as will be exemplified by the various indicators to be discussed next. Compared to other countries in sub- Saharan Africa, Kenya has made notable milestones. The life expectancy according to WHO (2013) in 2011 was 60 years which was greater than that for Africa region which was 56years. During this period the infant and under-5 mortality rate was 48 and 73 per 1000 live births respectively against the WHO Africa region whose values were 68 and 107 per 100 live births, respectively. According to the Vision 2030 (Government of Kenya, 2011), Kenya’s has much to achieve regarding Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the MDG’s 1(eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), 4(reduce child mortality rates), 5 (improve maternal health), and 6 (combat HIV, malaria, and other diseases). This is echoed by the African Union Maputo Plan of Action 6 whose target is to reduce poverty levels calling for need to implement these principles to achieve the targets.
Heath indicators are a measure used to quantify if a goal has been attained. These are tools used to monitor and communicate key information of health in a population and aid planning (Friedman, M 2005). They indicate the health, socio-economic status and hence quality of life in the country. In Kenya the indicators are maternal, infant and children under 5 years mortality rates, life expectancy at birth and the crude death rate and maternal mortality ratio. Others are the number of health facilities and medical staff per unit of population, vaccination coverage, HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB).
Infant mortality rate
Infant mortality rate is the number of children who die before one year, per 1000 live births whereas under-five mortality rate is the number of children who die under 5years expressed per 1000 live births. According to UNICEF (2013), the infant mortality rate and under -5 mortality rates in Kenya for 2012 was 49 and 73 per 1000 live births respectively. Looking at the trends in Kenyan history, between 1960 and 1992 infant mortality rate declined significantly from 119 to 51 per 1000 live births and the under-five mortality rate reduced from 202 to 74 per 1000 live births (Government of Kenya, 2000). These indicators...

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