Kenyan healthcare system getting worse by the day – Report

Kenyan healthcare system getting worse by the day - Report
File image of a hospital ward. PHOTO| COURTESY

By Patrick Gatua

The quality of healthcare and health facilities in the country is getting worse by the day.

The Kenya Health Service Delivery Indicator Report of 2018, a product of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank and the government, reveals absenteeism of health workers, poor diagnostics and lack of drugs as some of the major shortcomings in the sector.

Imagine going to a hospital and waiting for long hours on end, only to realize that there are no doctors around, well that is exactly the state of majority of Kenyan hospitals.

The report shows hospitals have the highest levels of absenteeism at 60.4% whereas dispensaries and clinics had the lowest absenteeism rate at 44.5%.

The findings show absenteeism of doctors at a staggering 60.7% followed closely by nurses at 54.5%  and clinical officers at 49.5% countrywide.

West Pokot had the highest absenteeism among counties, followed by Marsabit County at 66%, Nyeri County at 65% while Nairobi County had 58%.

The lowest absenteeism rate were reported in Makueni County at 25 %.

The leading counties in diagnostics include Wajir (89%), Garissa (88%) and Narok (83%).

In diagnostics, the report indicates health care service providers’ ability and knowledge is low.

Higher levels of accurate diagnosis were reported in facilities in urban areas as compared to those in rural areas. Top three counties in accurate diagnosis were Wajir with 89%, Garissa at 88% and Narok with 83%.

The availability of drugs was found unsatisfactory  with 54.1% of priority drugs being available countrywide, but a look closer into the counties shows Marsabit, Turkana and Samburu had the highest number of priority drugs at 71%, 69% and 68% respectively.

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