- Only 56 per cent of primary-level health care facilities in the country have access to stable electricity.
- On the other hand, 15 per cent of health facilities use ICT for supply chain management.
The quality of health services in Kenya is still insufficient despite the progress made in the sector, according to a new World Bank study.
In a joint research on infrastructure and human development, the lender notes that poor availability and quality of infrastructure is a major factor among others affecting the provision of health services in Kenya.
“Our research on impact of poor infrastructure for instance roads, on access to health services and outcomes studied in Kenya, Mozambique and India, among other countries, notes that more remains to be explored on the impact of infrastructure to boost service provision,” the lender says.
It notes that patients need good roads to access health facilities or cell-phone coverage to call for help since health is an essential component of human capital formation, especially in the early years of the life cycle.
The survey adds that proper roads are also needed for staff and medicines to reach the facilities on time, electricity to ensure the functioning of medical fridges to store vaccines, as well as phone and Internet coverage for medical staff to access information and improve their supply chain management.
The Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) survey found that only 56 per cent of primary-level health care facilities in the country have access to stable electricity, and only 15 per cent of health facilities use ICT for supply chain management.
The detailed road quality data shows that health facilities are on average two kilometres away from the nearest road of at least fair quality, with a large variation from zero to 95 km.
The report shows that there is generally, spatially uneven access of facilities to electricity, Internet infrastructure proxied by the 2G coverage, and road quality.
The global lender is thus calling for increased government efforts to tap into the unexplored infrastructure opportunities to revamp the sector’s service delivery towards promoting growth.
It indicates there are a number of benefits that come along with improved access to infrastructure in health service provision.
“First, being closer to fair or good quality roads and having access to electricity are associated with more accurate provider diagnostics as we find that the diagnostic accuracy is five per cent lower in the health facilities that are further from at least fair quality road,” WB says.
It adds that good quality roads, a stable connection to the electricity, and ICT use for supply management are related to an increase of, respectively, 2.9, 4.5 and 6.8 percentage points in availability of medicines in the country.
“Stable electricity service could raise the provision of health tests by about 5.6 per cent as the use of ICT for supply management enhance the tests by an additional two per cent,” the lender says.