Kenya’s population has risen to about 35 million. This has placed a tremendous strain on the health system already constrained from soaring rates of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Amref Health Africa is working with a diverse range of communities from urban slums in Nairobi, remote rural areas in the north-east and south, to lake regions in the west and coastal region in the east.
A rapidly increasing population, an under funded health sector, and countrywide shortage of skilled health workers means that mortality rates in Kenya remain high and continue to rise – particularly among women and children in disadvantaged communities.
The public health service is often beyond the reach of those living in remote rural areas or urban slums. The community health facilities are often under-resourced and staffed by few, inadequately trained and overworked health workers. Effective health care is hindered by mismanagement, low staff morale, and a disconnect between the communities’ needs and the health services available.
Most doctors in Kenya gravitate towards cities with large hospitals. Many are abandoning public practice to work in private clinics, others leaving Kenya to work overseas. As a result, community health centres in remote locations suffer an acute shortage of trained professionals. AIDS is the leading cause of lost productivity in Kenya. About 5.9 per cent of the population or 1.2 million people in Kenya are currently infected with HIV.
The government only contributes to 54% of health care services – as a result, non governmental, private and faith-based organisations and traditional healers fill the gap in health care provision. Only half of the population of Kenya has access to safe water and proper sanitation. Up to 60% of public hospital beds are filled with HIV/AIDS patients at any one time. 15% of women aged 15-40 die during childbirth.
Amref Health Africa is
- Improving the reproductive health and rights of the nomadic youth through the Unite for Body Rights (UFBR) project
- Implementing an integrated intervention to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS and to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in Kibwezi, Nzaui and Makindu districts of Eastern Province
- Empowering the community of Dagoretti and its environs through working with children
- Reducing eye diseases such as trachoma in Kajiado district by developing health education materials that are relevant to the Maasai people
- Improving Malaria Diagnosis in Kenya and other malaria endemic countries
- Improving the health of women and children by Putting African Mothers and Children First in Lamu
- Strengthening HIV Strategic Information in Kenya through an Amref Health Africa led Consortium through the ADAM Project
- Contributing to the increase in the ratio of the health workforce to population and the equitable distribution of health human resource through the Human Resouces for Health (HRH) project
- Strengthening Community Health Systems to Improve Maternal Newborn and Child Health Outcomes in Samburu County
- Contributing to reduction of maternal and child mortality through provision of information for action planning in selected districts through the CBHMIS project
- Improving Maternal Nweborn and Child Health (MNCH) in Makueni County through the Mama Na Mtoto Wa Afrika Project
- Improving sanitation and hygiene and use of maternal child health and nutrition services in Nawuontos Sub-location of Turkana County