Healthcare in Kenya

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Allianz Worldwide Care - Kenya

Introduction

Kenya, a former British colony which was named after the second highest mountain in Africa, gained its independence in 1963. Today, Kenya is a leading travel destination due to its scenery, magnificent wildlife and high year-round temperatures.

Kenyan Healthcare system at a glance

Basic primary care is provided at primary healthcare centres and dispensaries. Dispensaries are run and managed by enrolled and registered nurses who are supervised by the nursing officer at the respective health centre. They provide outpatient services for simple ailments such as the common cold and flu, uncomplicated malaria and skin conditions. Those patients who cannot be managed by the nurse are referred to the health centres.

Sub-district, district and provincial hospitals provide secondary care, i.e. integrated curative and rehabilitative care. Sub-district hospitals are similar to health centres with the addition of a surgery unit for Caesarean sections and other procedures. District hospitals usually have the resources to provide comprehensive medical and surgical services. Provincial hospitals are regional centres which provide specialised care including intensive care, life support and specialist consultations.

The Central Province and Nairobi have the best healthcare facilities, whereas the North-Eastern Province is the most under-developed.

Standard of hospital care in Kenya

The Kenyan health system consists of three main categories of service providers. Public providers, Private not-for-profit organisations (including faith-based and mission hospitals, local and international NGOs) and Private for-profit health care providers.

Public health services are organised across 8 provinces, in 6 levels of care: Community health units, Dispensaries, Health centres, District hospitals, Provincial referral hospitals, and National Tertiary hospitals. Public health care providers serve the majority of the population, and are focussed on addressing public health disease burden. The government operates 41% of health facilities, NGOs run 15%.

The Private sector operates 43% of health centres, and is becoming more prominent. Private clinics of varying complexity exist in most major urban centres, including the coastal beach resort towns. Private hospitals for inpatient care exist mainly in Nairobi, with a few options in Mombasa.

Hospitals

Most health care facilities in Kenya are below international standards with limited resources, and limited capabilities. Public hospitals are understaffed, poorly equipped and lack supplies. Private clinics with limited inpatient capability are in operation in Nairobi, Mombasa, and the beach resort areas of Diani and Malindi. These services include radiology, laboratory and pharmacy services. The private AGA Khan hospital, located in Nairobi, is operating at western standard level of care.

Malaria and vaccinations

Travellers who come from countries where Yellow Fever is prevalent are required to carry certificates of vaccination against Yellow Fever in order to enter the country. According to the WHO, malaria is a risk which exists throughout the whole country, all year round..

You should consult your doctor about anti-malarial prophylaxis and obtaining additional vaccinations for polio, typhoid and hepatitis, prior to travel.   

Quote available upon request for International individual health insurance or corporate international health insurance.