Kenya Has Excellent Epidemic Detection Rate, But Poor on Innovation

Kenya has been ranked 7th out of 18 African countries in the Africa Sustainability Index, a first-of-its-kind, online policy tool that provides a unique overview of the current status of 18 health systems across Africa.

Kenya's Ministry of Health Director General, Dr Patrick Amoth led the health workers in receiving the first Covid-19 jab

  • The Index aims to enable data-driven decision making for health and reveals correlations between economic strength and health system sustainability

Kenya has been ranked 7th out of 18 African countries in the Africa Sustainability Index, a first-of-its-kind, online policy tool that provides a unique overview of the current status of 18 health systems across Africa.

The Africa Sustainability Index launched by the FutureProofing Healthcare initiative at the 2021 Africa Health Agenda International Conference, AHAIC, revealed that Kenya has a comparatively high epidemic detection rate ranking second compared to other African countries, positioning it well to prevent the spread of epidemics across the region.

“Compared to other countries, Kenya performs very well in epidemic detection, which is mirrored in its HIV testing score, reflecting a good capacity for detecting emerging threats.”

However, despite high mobile connectivity and internet access, a better-regulated pharma sector and collaborative initiatives, Kenya falls behind on innovation. 

“The country could look at policies on eHealth and Health Information Systems Foundations adopted in neighbouring countries Rwanda and Ethiopia who are innovation champions on the continent” reads part of the report.

The FutureProofing Healthcare Africa Sustainability Index presents an objective view of how health systems are currently performing and are intended to inform policies that promote sustainability and resiliency for the future.

Through publicly available data, the Index examined 76 different measures split across six categories called Vital Signs. These Vital Signs – Access, Financing, Innovation, Quality, Health Status, and Wider Factors of Health – provide a holistic view of the fundamental drivers of sustainable healthcare systems.

The Index also compares approaches between countries, identifies elements that lead to more sustainable care, and promotes best practices through a future-focused analysis of real-world solutions. Organizations including Amref, the World Bank, United Nations Development Programme /(UNDP), the African Society for Laboratory Medicine, and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention collaborated to develop the FutureProofing Healthcare Africa Sustainability Index.

“Sustainable healthcare is a key element on the journey towards UHC and will impact millions of lives in Africa,” said Githinji Gitahi, CEO of Amref and Africa Sustainability Index panellist.

“The Sustainability Index is a useful tool in guiding stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem on where to focus efforts, make improvements, and identify best practices from other countries.

New ‘Africa Sustainability Index’ Measures Health Systems for 18 African Countries

The findings of the Africa Sustainability Index indicate that economic strength and political stability are key drivers behind overall performance in healthcare sustainability, with most of the countries that perform well in the Financing Vital Sign also doing well in the Index overall. These countries include South Africa, Rwanda, Algeria, and Ghana.

The Index also reveals that all countries analyzed have numerous areas of opportunity for improvement. There are strong variations throughout the continent related to the Access and Quality Vital Signs, suggesting that targeted policies in these areas will make an impact in achieving UHC goals.

Driving disparities in Access are the number of doctors and specialized healthcare professionals per capita, as well as the level of access to preventative health services South Africa is the highest-ranking country in the Access Vital Sign, followed at some distance by Libya, Zambia, and Tunisia.

Countries included in the Index are Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Zambia.