NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 12 – A report by health stakeholders has revealed that HIV/AIDs, diarrhoea, stroke, and tuberculosis remain the top causes of death in the country.
According to the study, there is a notable decline in deaths from HIV/AIDS to more than 50pc for both genders, TB by 40pc, while malaria has fallen to an all-time low of 18.8 deaths per 100,000 populations in 2013.
The report dubbed “The Global Burden of Disease: Generating Evidence, Guiding Policy in Kenya” which was launched on Tuesday shows that Kenya has made tremendous progress in addressing pressing health priorities such as maternal and child health, as well as communicable diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.
The study showed that although the five diseases are the leading causes of death, remarkable progress has been made in reducing the burden of HIV/AIDS since the 2000s, with the number of estimated deaths from HIV/AIDS falling by 43pc since 2000.
However, as people live longer with HIV, the cumulative number of people needing ongoing care continues to increase.
To accommodate this growing demand, the report stated that the health system stewards will need to work with all partners to efficiently allocate resources in a way that maximizes health as much as possible.
“The public and private sector should demonstrate commitment in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS through the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework and other economic and health sector initiatives,” said Executive Director International Centre for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA) James Kisia.
Due in large part to the country’s efforts to control both HIV and TB, TB deaths have fallen by nearly 40pc since 2000.
This is as a result of concerted efforts put in place such as the national TB strategy which has scaled up treatment and detection efforts as well as strengthen the quality and coverage of the National TB Program.
Of notable improvement is the maternal and child health: the report showed that Kenya’s under-5 mortality has reduced to 58 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to the regional average of 78 deaths per 1,000 live births, while more women are surviving child birth resulting to substantial declines in maternal mortality since 2004.
“Mothers and children are safer and healthier due to improvements in delivery, reduction in early childhood diseases and improved nutrition,” said Kisia.
But despite the progress, maternal mortality remains high in Kenya and progress in improving health is slow.
Taken together, diarrhoea, LRIs, and other common infectious disorders are the second-leading causes of death and disability among newborns.