July 18, 2013

Afya Bora -- Excellent Health for All

As part of our assignment, we were able to interview the staff and tour the Specialized Reproductive Health Clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). KNH was established in 1901 and is the largest hospital in East Africa. KNH is the main national referral and teaching hospital for the University of Nairobi in Kenya. It is a big hospital with a total bed capacity of about 1800. The SPH clinic provides family planning and cervical cancer screening and treatment among many other services for women.

Healthcare workers in Kenya are overworked and overburdened. The WHO reports that there are only 4,500 doctors in Kenya (with about 1,000 in the public sector). In the U.S.A., there are about 26 doctors per 10,000 residents, while Kenya only has 1 doctor per 10,000 residents.

While visiting KNH, our team witnessed the overcrowded and challenging conditions first hand. We saw very sick cancer patients lining up in the hallways waiting for treatment and the countless number of patients queuing up or waiting outside just to be seen. We learned that cancer patients often have to wait up to 4-6 months to begin radiotherapy treatment.

We also met with healthcare workers who are all working very hard with very little. The exam and treatment rooms in Kenya have very minimal equipment and supplies compared to the advanced technology and disposable medical supplies you would typically find in a hospital in America. Very little in a Kenyan hospital is disposable and nothing is thrown away. Although the striking contrast was unsettling for me, it was also very impressive and humbling.

On a final note, the unwavering passion held by everyone we met to do all that they can to improve the health of all Kenyans was truly inspirational. We wish them the very best as they continue on their mission to strengthen Kenya's healthcare system. It has been our privilege to work on this assignment. Asante sana from Team Afya Bora.

Kenyatta National Hospital

Part of KNH Complex
Division of Reproductive Health Vision, Mission and Goals
Kenya’s relies heavily on donor country contributions to supplement the national health budget. The United States is the largest donor, providing funds through USAID, PEPFAR, etc. Other countries with significant donor country contributions to the health sector include the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands. Kenya also receives support from the World Bank and agencies within the United Nations system, including WHO, UNAIDS, UNICEF and UNFPA.

#ibmcsc kenya

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