Kenya's Pharmaceutical Industry 2005
(2005; 20 pages)


Kenya spends about 8% of its GDP on health. Per capita expenditure per person stood at about US$ 11 per person in 2003. Out of this, US$ 6 came from budgetary resources, which also included donor contributions and the balance of about US $5 came mainly from out-of-pocket expenditure. This expenditure fell far below the WHO's recommended US$34 per capita.

Out-of-pocket expenditure thus accounted for 53% of the total cost of healthcare, with the remainder being Government contributions from general taxation (25%), Social Health Insurance (15%), private prepaid health plans (5%) and non-profit institutions expenditure at 2%. The above scenario means the current healthcare financing system depends mainly on out-of-pocket expenditure and therefore 75% privately financed.

The health system in Kenya is organized and implemented through a network of facilities organized in a pyramidal pattern. The network starts from dispensaries and health clinics/ posts at the bottom, up to the health centers, sub-district hospitals, district hospitals, provincial general hospitals and at the apex there is the Kenyatta National Hospital, and more recently the Moi Referral Hospital, Eldoret.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is the major financier and provider of health care services in Kenya. Out of all the health facilities in the country, the MoH controls and runs about 52% while the private sector, the mission organizations and the Ministry of Local government runs the remaining 48%.

The public sector controls about 79% of the health centers, 92% of the sub-health centers, and 60% of the dispensaries. The NGO sector is dominant in health clinics, maternity and nursing homes controlling 94% of the total while also controlling 86% of the medical centers in the country.

In urban rural distribution, the health sector is faced with inequalities. 70% of urban population has access to health facilities within 4 km, as opposed to 30% of the rural population.

The health sector in Kenya is one of the sectors that has experienced remarkable development in the recent years. The country has made great efforts in controlling diseases like Malaria, TB and Cholera while actively fighting the AIDS/HIV pandemic. Similar efforts have been made in controlling communicable diseases like poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus and measles. The targets for eradication of the guinea worm disease and elimination of lymphatic filariasis and leprosy have been attained. Other parasitic diseases of epidemiological concern such as schistosomiasis, helminthiasis and leishmaniasis are seriously being addressed.

The efforts at different levels to control diseases have seen the adoption of the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) as a national strategy in Kenya to contain Tuberculosis. The treatment success rate had improved to about 80% by end of 2003. During the same period, Kenya had attained a national zero-prevalence rate of 6.7% for its population affected by HIV/AIDS.

In order to control Emerging diseases and epidemics the government has put into place strategies that include the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST), Healthy Cities initiative, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP), water quality surveillance and occupational health strategies.

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