Mission Profile: Kenya
Next up on our Mission Profile series? The beautiful nation of Kenya. Home to 47.6 million people, Kenya is one of the most populous nations in the world. The country boasts a wealth of crops, a diversity of distinct ethnic groups, and beautiful landscapes.
Despite this abundance, Kenya is suffering from an overwhelming healthcare burden. The biggest issue is Kenya’s deficit of available healthcare practitioners. The World Health Organization estimates there are only .2 physicians for every 1,000 people in Kenya. And 40% of doctors that graduate go to a different country. This disparity means that thousands are unable to treat their medical conditions.
Here are a few more statistics to highlight the severity of Kenya’s medical situation:
- Average life expectancy: 64 years (39th lowest in the world)
- Infant mortality rate: 39/1,000 live births (49th highest in the world)
- Leading cause of death: pneumonia, malaria, and cancer
- Total expenditure on health (measured by % of GDP): 5.7% (39th lowest in the world)
According to an article from isglobal, 60% of the total expenditure is spent on hospitals, 20% on health centers, and 14% on public health programming. They note that “this is an indication of reactive rather than a preventive health care system.” The article goes on to point out that basic medical care has been proven to be the most effective way to reduce mortality. Yet, it receives the least funding. Ameliorating Kenya’s healthcare burden must begin from the most basic level. They need more physicians to make healthcare more accessible.
Mission to Heal is embarking on medical missions to Kenya in 2020. Here, we plan on equipping local practitioners with medical knowledge so they may treat patients beyond the time we are there. In this way, we hope to encourage a lasting medical system.
Join our mission to Kenya by applying to volunteer here.