HEALTH SURVEY

Respiratory diseases top list of ailments affecting Kenyans

Malaria comes second accounting for 15.2% of disease burden.

In Summary

• The Economic survey 2022 shows that 20,613,455 cases of respiratory diseases had been reported in Kenya as at December 2021.

• Malaria accounts for the second disease burden in the country with 14,331,877 cases (15.2%).

A suspected outbreak of flu has been reported in Kenya.
A suspected outbreak of flu has been reported in Kenya.
Image: File

Diseases affecting the respiratory system are the top ailments affecting Kenyans, latest official statistics show.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) released on Thursday indicate that 20,613,455 cases of respiratory diseases had been reported as at December 2021, accounting for 21.9 per cent disease burden in the country.

Respiratory diseases may be caused by air pollution, infections, tobacco smoking or breathing secondary tobacco smoke.

According to the Economic Survey 2022, Malaria accounts for the second disease burden in the country with 14,331,877 cases (15.2%) followed by Skin diseases (including ulcers) with 3,664,898 cases (3.9%), diarrhea with 3,259,417 cases (3.5%) and urinary tract infection (UTI) with 2,567,446 (2.7).

The survey says intestinal worms is among the least diseases affecting Kenyans with just 957,619 reported cases while Rheumatism and joint pains have 550,522 reported cases.

Cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases nationally as of December 2021 was 297,297, the survey noted. The number stood at 323,818 as at May 5, 2022.

The survey said the case fatality count from the pandemic as of December stood at 4,835. The death toll had risen to 5,649 as at May 5. 

On marital status, the survey showed that the registered number of married women who conceived in 2021/22 financial year were 85.9 per cent, single mothers were 13.5 per cent, those with unknown status were 0.4 per cent, divorced women were 0.1 per cent while widowed mothers were at 0.1 per cent.

The Economic Survey said 14, 772 medical practitioners were registered in 2021.

The number of registered pharmacists and pharmtechs was 16,321, 76,878 were nurses, 25,377 clinical officers, 19,795 public health officers and technicians, 11, 621 nutritionists and dietitians while physiotherapists were 11, 621.

More so, the survey indicates that there were 27.1 registered medical officers and 2.8 registered dentists by 100,000 populations in 2021.

Government's expenditure on Health and Vital Statistics is expected to increase by 16.5 per cent to Sh110 billion in 2021/22.

The County governments' expenditure on health services is also expected to increase from Sh108.8 billion in 2021/22 to Sh116.5 billion in the 2021/22 financial year.

NHIF membership also increased by 6.6 per cent to 23.4 million.

Total births registered this financial year increased by 6.5 per cent to 1,200,190 in 2021.

Registered deaths increased by 25 per cent to 231, 944 in 2021.

There were 355 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

KNBS is a State Corporation by whose mandate is anchored on the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

The bureau is the principal state agency for collecting, analyzing and disseminating statistics in Kenya and is the custodian of official statistical information.