Covid 19 Pandemic and the Kenyan Healthcare System

<p style="text-align: justify;">For the first time in 100 years, a health crisis in the form of a pandemic has shut down the global economy indiscriminately. This has showntheclose intertwinbetween healthcare and the economy. Developingnations such as Kenya have unfortunately borne the brunt due to weak health systems.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The Covid 19 pandemic has revealed a major glaring disconnect between the private and public health sector. The healthcare workers strike hasbeen a consistenttrend over the years. Such strikes are a global phenomenon;however, the trickle-down effects of such strikes areworst in lower-and-middle income countries such as Kenya. Infrastructural and resource challenges, weak institutional arrangements,and unaffordable alternative option to those at the bottom of the pyramidfurther compound the inefficiency of a weak public healthcare system. Lack of PPEs for the public health workers alongside poor monetary compensation were major grievances in the most recent 70-day health workers strike.Quality healthcare systemsare available in the top private healthcare providers. However, availability of these services comes at a premium cost that the common &lsquo;mwananchi&rsquo; cannot afford.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">There is an urgent need for increased investments in the general healthcare system and most urgently the public health system. Understaffing in healthcare workforce, commodity stock outs, lack of equipment are the most critical points to address.The healthcare system needs to be ableto handle the pressure of this stubborn pandemic amidst other priority diseases such as TB, HIV, hypertension, diabetes, among others.The roll out of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in January of this year isa step in the right direction. Accountability andcommitment from all healthcare stake holders is what will determine the positive impact of UHC. Overall, when all the lessons learnt in the pandemic are implemented, the Kenyan healthcare system will be on an upward trajectory; more lives will be saved.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Even prior to the pandemic, the public health system had loopholes that ensured patient satisfaction is most times at an all at time low.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">that ended in February 2021</p>
KR Expert - Valentine Kamau