Healthcare

COVID 19 Pandemic And The Kenyan Healthcare System

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<p style="text-align: justify;">For the first time in the past 100 years, a health crisis in the form of a Covid 19 has shut down the global economy indiscriminately.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">This has shown the close intertwin between health systems and the economy. Unfortunately, developing nations such as Kenya have borne the brunt due to weak health systems.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">A significant disconnect between the private and public health systems was revealed during the Covid 19 pandemic. The healthcare workers' strike has been a consistent trend over the years. Such strikes occur globally; however, the trickle-down effects of such strikes are worst in developing countries like Kenya.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Challenges in the Kenyan Healthcare Systems</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">The inefficiency of the public healthcare system of Kenya is increased due to infrastructural and resource challenges, weak institutional arrangements, and unaffordable alternative options to those at the bottom of the pyramid.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The lack of PPEs for the health workers and the poor monetary compensation were significant grievances in the most recent 70-day health worker's strike.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Quality healthcare systems are available in the top private healthcare providers. However, the availability of these services comes at a premium cost that the common 'mwananchi' cannot afford.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The healthcare system needs to be capable of handling the pressure of this pandemic, amidst other priority diseases such as TB, HIV, hypertension, and diabetes, among others.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">An urgent need has to be addressed, which includes increased investments in the general healthcare and public health systems. The most critical points to address are understaffing in the healthcare workforce, commodity stockouts, and lack of equipment.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The recently introduced Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was a step in the right direction. Accountability and commitment from all healthcare stakeholders will determine the positive impact of UHC.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Overall, the Kenyan healthcare system will be on an upward trajectory when all the lessons learnt in the COVID-19 pandemic is implemented; and more lives will be saved.</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-pandemic-kenyan-healthcare-system-valentine-wacu-kamau/">article</a> was contributed by our expert Valentine Kamau</em></span></p><h3 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Valentine Kamau</span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What are the problems with providing healthcare in Kenya?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">There is a need for more investment in the general healthcare system, Understaffing, and the right expertise to address the medical condition. Also, there is minimal access to health care systems and fragile institutional arrangements.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How is healthcare financed in Kenya?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">There are few primary funding sources: the public hospitals rely on out-of-pocket expenses (household fees), government expenditures, and donors.</p><h2 style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What are the health initiatives in Kenya?</span></h2><p style="text-align: justify;">Some initiatives have been taken to control the HIV Epidemic, Improve the healthcare system in Kenya, prevent malaria and maternal and child mortality, and control tuberculosis.</p>
KR Expert - Valentine Kamau