Like most countries in Africa, Kenya is a third world nation with a struggling economy. The country’s resources are unevenly distributed among citizens due to corruption and the lack of governance. In this part of the world, there is a huge disparity in the quality of essential services provided to the public.
However, when it comes to healthcare, although Kenya still has a long way to go, there have been some improvements in recent years. If you are interested to know more, keep on reading. Below, you will find some interesting information on how Kenya’s healthcare compares to other countries.
Types of Healthcare in Kenya
Healthcare in Kenya is categorized into 3 main types.
- Public Healthcare
This is the healthcare service that is provided by the Kenyan government to all citizens using public funding and taxes. It is a free-of-charge service; however, it is exclusive to simple illnesses like common cold, mild malaria, and some minor skin conditions.
- Private Healthcare Provided by Nonprofit Organizations
This healthcare system is provided by organizations and private clinics funded by donors and charity organizations.
- Private Healthcare Provided by For-Profit Organizations
Like other countries, healthcare insurance companies operate in Kenya at a significantly higher price compared to the former two types.
Facts About Healthcare in Kenya
When compared to other countries, Kenya dedicates around 5.7% of its national income towards healthcare. This is a significantly low figure on the global scale, and even so when compared to a neighbouring country like South Africa which spends almost 2 times this figure.
In addition, the quality of service varies greatly between cities and even neighborhoods. However, as expected, the best healthcare can be found in the capital, Nairobi.
Access to Healthcare in Kenya
Perhaps one front that seems to be witnessing some promising development in healthcare in Kenya is the access to different providers. A quick online search yields several informative websites offering comparisons about different health insurance providers in Kenya.
When compared to this Australian example, which is in the top 10 list of the best healthcare systems in the world, these Kenyan comparison websites can still hold their own in terms of content quality. Even this South African example, which invests more in healthcare, doesn’t seem to be that far off from the information Kenyan websites are offering.
Main Challenges Facing Kenya’s Healthcare
Besides the lack of funding mentioned above, Kenya suffers from a severe shortage of healthcare professionals. Every year, almost 40% of new-graduated doctors flee the country seeking more lucrative opportunities abroad.
Also, poor living standards like the lack of clean water and hygiene and low education further burden what is already a humble system. Finally, the absence of an efficient government that realizes that healthcare is a basic human right and should be a priority for reform.
Kenya is one example of many modest countries that are still facing what is now considered an ancient problem in the developed world. However, there is a glimmer of hope for improvement that is slowly but surely being created by the awareness of the Kenyan people and their desire to live a better life.