Followers

Friday, December 09, 2016

Why Striking Doctors Are The Least Of Kenya's Health Problems


This week, the news has understandably been dominated by the countrywide strike by the nation’s health workers. On Monday, doctors and nurses across the land stayed at home in protest at the government’s failure to implement a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2013 that was meant to govern their pay and conditions of service. The strike has thrown an already rickety health system into chaos and contributed to the deaths of several patients and heartbreaking scenes of desperate suffering at health centres.

It is not the first time public health workers have walked off the job. In recent years, the health sector has been plagued by strikes. In December 2011, hundreds of doctors marched through Nairobi streets to demand a larger stock of drugs in hospitals, better equipment and better pay. Three months later, in March 2012, and again in September 2012, they again laid down their tools to demand government spend more money on health services. Similar strikes followed in December 2013, August 2014 and August 2015.

Throughout, the main focus of media reporting has been on the demands for better pay. Little attention has been paid to the complaints over working conditions and the terrible state of the health system in general. Yet the situation is dire despite, total per capita expenditure on health (both public and private) doubling between 2010 and 2014 and government share of that spending growing from 36% to 61% in that period. Kenyans and their government are increasingly spending more on healthcare. So what have we got to show for our money?

The short answer is: not very much. As I noted more than two years ago, according to the 2013 Kenya Service Availability and Readiness Assessment Mapping report, the country’s first attempt to get a comprehensive picture of the health sector, less than 6 in 10 of all health facilities in the country are ready to provide the Kenya Essential Package for Health –a sort of standardized comprehensive package of health services. Less than half have basic amenities and while two-thirds have half the basic equipment required, 59% do not have essential medicines. Only 2% of facilities are providing all KEPH services required to eliminate communicable diseases.

Further, as reported by The Star last year, the WHO Global Atlas of Health Workforce identifies Kenya as having a “critical shortage” of healthcare workers since independence. While the World Health Organization has set a minimum threshold of 23 doctors, nurses and midwives per population of 10,000. Kenya’s current ratio stands at a mere 13. Yet, according to one 2008 paper, the irony is that there is a large pool of trained, unemployed health workers available, but the process of recruitment is cumbersome.

Despite the government trumpeting its free maternity program, maternal health is still in the doldrums. In fact, Kenya is still one most dangerous countries to be pregnant and to give birth.  Nearly 8,000 women die every year due to pregnancy-related complications, while a fifth of babies don’t live to see their fifth birthday. And then there are the scams, such as the recently exposed Mafya House scandal where fraudsters have siphoned off up to Sh5 billion via questionable deals or the prevalence of fake doctors.

Devolution has undoubtedly brought health services closer to many who were previously left out, but even here, problems abound. These range from allegations of tribe-based hiring of doctors and questions over the efficacy of county spending plans to the national government foisting medical equipment on reluctant counties lacking the capacity to utilize it. There are also massive inequalities in access to healthcare facilities and in staffing which manifest in statistics such as a third of counties being responsible for 97 percent of all maternal deaths.  

But perhaps no other area is as neglected as care for the mentally ill. When about 100 patients reportedly “escaped” from the Mathari Mental Hospital on Monday, the media dutifully reported it as a consequence of the health workers’ strike. Yet earlier this year, a report in the Daily Nation indicated that the country’s sole referral hospital for psychiatric care was packed to the brim with patients, some of whom had been sent there by the courts for “failing to understand English, or Kiswahili … or for domestic issues that had nothing to do with mental illnesses.”

Worse, the conditions inside the hospital are appalling, with patients drugged into a stupor, abused, denied food and other basic necessities. In 2013 when 40 patients again “escaped” following a riot at the facility, the Nation reported “it was a case of hunger, abuse, lack of basic services and a fight for survival.” This deplorable state of affairs is perhaps not surprising when one considers that only 0.5% of funds earmarked for health is spent on mental health. This is despite the fact that, according to a 2011 CNN report, “the government’s own figures show that one-quarter of all patients going to hospitals or clinics complain of mental health issues.”


The fact is, even before the current strike, Kenya’s health sector was already in a state of crisis. It will not be cures by appeals to patriotism and fellow feeling or even solely by paying our doctors better. Rather than merely addressing the symptoms of decay, Kenya needs a sober examination and diagnosis of the underlying systemic and structural illness afflicting its health system. Then a similarly credible set of proposals to cure it. The campaigns that are underway for next year’s elections provide the perfect opportunity for Kenyan media and society to force the political class to do both. The question is: Will we take that opportunity? Or will we continue acquiescing to management of health by crisis? 

5 comments:

Richard C. Lambert said...

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!
BlossomGate Limerick

Unknown said...

https://furioussublimecollectorworld.tumblr.com

Ahne SD said...

It is so good that you ended this write up with this question.

The question is: Will we take that opportunity? Or will we continue acquiescing to management of health by crisis?

CNN Health and How to Deal With Critical Health News

Mr Abdullah Ibrahim said...

Instant cash offer here aply now

Financial Cash Available Here From $3k to $1 million Are you looking for Financial Cash My company is giving out Cash to people looking for Financial Cash to

stat new Life My offer is very fast and understanding We which the helpless people The opportunity to get back their happiness with good and understanding

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Interested people should I'll
advise contact us via email at
abdullahibrahimlender@gmail.com
Calling +918929490461
whatspp Number +918929490461
Mr Abdullah Ibrahim

Unknown said...

📁ARE YOU ABSOLUTELY IN NEED OF THE SERVICES OF A PROFESSIONAL HACKER?(CATCHING A CHEATING SPOUSE[Phone Hack], RECOVERY OF LOST FUNDS, CREDIT SCORE UPGRADE, WEBSITE HACK...)
High prolific information and Priviledges comes rare as i would be sharing with you magnificent insight you wish you heard years before now. As it's been understood that what people don't see, they will never know.
When you wonder “which hacking company should I hire, the first aspect that should concern you is quality. Clearly, you want to embark for services that povides swift response, Thanks to our talented and Astonish Hackers , you are rest assured that your expectations will always be met. You’ll be glad to find out that our services Implies precisions and actions.
This post is definitely for those who are willing to turn their lives around for the better, either financial-wise, relationship-wise or businesses.
Welcome to the Global KOS hacking agency where every request on hacking related issues are met within a short period of time.
If your shoe fits in any of the required services below, you will be assigned to a designated professional hacker who is systematically known for operating on a dark web V-link protocol.
The manual Operation of this hackers is to potentially deploy a distinguished hacking techniques to penetrating computers and various type of database system to meet your request.
Penetration of computing systems are achieved using core software tools like Ransomeware, SQL/Keylogger injection. botnet, trojan and DDOS attacks.
Providing value added services to clients as a hacker has been our sustaining goal.
Are you faced with cyber challenges like
💰Recovery of lost funds:✅It saddens our mind when client expresses annoyance or dissatisfaction of unethical behaviours of scammers. We have striven to make tenacious efforts to help those who are victims of this flees get off their traumatic feeling of loss. The cyber security technique used to retrieving back the victims stolen funds is the application of a diverse intercall XX breacher software enables you track the data location of a scammer. Extracting every informations on the con database, every requested information required by the Global KOS would be used to tracking every transaction, time and location of the scammer using this systematic courier tracking base method.
📲 Hacking into the mobile phone of a cheating spouse.✅ This type of hack helps you track every movement of your cheater as we are bent on helping you gain full remote access into the cheater's mobile phone using a Trojan breach cracking system to penetrate their social media platforms like Facebook, whatsapp, snapchat etc. This spy processing is used via an HDSI folder which synchronizes the target mobile operating system into a clone S-Drive unit.
💳Credit Score Upgrade:✅Due to our transformed changes on Equifax tracking , upgrading of credit score are backed by our cyber tech breaching licence, This hacking process drastically generates you an undestructive higher credit score which correlates to a higher level of creditworthiness. The time frame for upgrading a credit score requires eighteen(18) hours
🅱️ BITCOIN GENERATOR:✅ (Higher job profile). This involves using the ANTPOOL Sysytem drifting a specialized hardware and software implementing tool in slot even-algorithms to incentivize more coins into your wallet which in turn generates more coins exponentially like a dream at specified intervals.
The company is large enough to provide comprehensive range of services such as.
• Email hacks📲
• Hacking of websites.📲
• Uber free payment hacks.📲
• website hack.📲
Our strength is based on the ability to help you fix cyber problems by bringing together active cyber hacking professionals in the GlobalkOS to work with.
Contact:
✉️Email: clarksoncoleman(at)gmail • com.
Theglobalkos(at)gmail •com.
©Global KOS™
2030.•√