AMREF 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
- Improving children’s health in 247 primary schools by encouraging children to use proper toilets and wash their hands in clean water, and building sanitation facilities.
- Trained 7,000 nurses using an innovative e-learning programme.
- Training 1,200 health workers in Makueni to provide essential maternal health care to the community.