Major causes of morbidity in Kenya

Post Date: 01 October 2018   |   Category: Health   |   Hits: 384

In this week’s number we examine the distribution of diseases in Kenya by identifying diseases that are frequently reported by Kenyans. Knowledge of the disease prevalence is not only important for identifying of the relative risk levels among the population, it is also key in enhancing effectiveness of policy interventions.

More Kenyans still suffer from malaria more than any other disease, with atleast 37 patients in every 100 reporting to have suffered from the disease. Malaria is followed by Flu with a rate of 16 patients in every 100. In the third place is headache with a rate of 8% of the reported individuals. 

Percentage Distribution of the Population that reported Being Sick/Injured by Type of Sickness/Injury, 2015/16

Source: Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey, 2015/16   
Further, as it is revealed in the above chart, population suffering from upper and lower respiration is significant at 7.4 % and 3% respectively. On the other hand, patients reported to be suffering from diseases such as burns, pain while passing urine, cancer, poisoning and STIs is less than 1% of all the patients. 

The deduction from the above chart is that the likelihood of a Kenya Kenyan suffering from Malaria is the highest than any other disease, it is followed by Flu and headache. It is however lowest with regards to poisoning and STIs diseases. For instance, a Kenyan is 8 times more likely to suffer from malaria compared to headache, and more than 30 times more likely to suffer from Malaria than diabetes.   

Number of the week: 37%:  Majority of the diseases in Kenya are Non Communicable and Malaria is the most prevalent.

  • The leading disease in Kenya remains to be malaria with a morbidity rate of 37%.
  • Influenza makes approximately a quarter of the reported disease cases, thus ranking second.
  • The most common Non-Communicable diseases reported in Kenya include Headache at 8.1%, wound/cut (3.4%) and backache (3.2%).
  • Upper and Lower respiratory infections also comprise a significant share of the communicable diseases that are reported in Kenya.
  • On the other hand report rates for Heart problem, Burn, Pain while passing urine, cancer, and Poisoning, categorized as Non Communicable diseases, are lower than 1% of all the diseases cases thus revealing that they are not the main disease burden.

Policy intervention focusing on diseases such as malaria and influenza are key in order to reduce the disease burden.