Healthcare and Nursing in Kenya Essay
Health has become one of the greatest global concerns today (Kagure, 2011). Efforts by the World Health Organization to by setting minimum requirements have not yielded significant results. Some scholars have claimed that on several factors that cannot be addressed by setting minimum requirements (Kagure, 2011). In this regard, Nafula a Kenyan nurse was interviewed with the aim of getting a general idea on the kind of healthcare services provided outside the US.
Nafulas Scope of Work
A part from ensuring that patients are safe, clean and comfortable, Nafula notes that Kenyan nurses have the responsibility to ensure that treatment procedures are followed as directed. In addition, nurses are supposed to monitor patients for any signs that may (Kagure, 2011).
There is a clear separation between the role of a nurse and the role of a doctor in Kenya. Unlike in the US where nurses are allowed to perform standardized procedures when they spot unusual symptoms, Kenyan nurses are expected to stay away from such roles. American nurses are more accommodated in decision making than Kenyan nurses who only play peripheral roles.
Nafula claims that Kenyan nurses are poorly paid. On average, a Kenyan nurse earns a basic salary of KSh.25, 000 per month. This is equivalent to $290. As Nafula observes, 25, 000 shillings cannot be enough considering the high cost of living in Kenya. Nafula says that because it has been very difficult to survive, they have been on strike several times but little has been done to address their plight. She also acknowledges that their poor remuneration has greatly affected their performance. Most of her colleagues solicit funds from patients before they can provide vital services. Patients who fail to bribe do not receive any services. Nafula notes that frustrated nurses can be very rough to patients. She recalls one episode in which a woman had to deliver on a floor after her husband failed to talk to the nurse in charge. In this case, according to Nafula, talking to a nurse means giving a bribe. The woman was also forced to wash the floor immediately after delivery.
Primary Health Concerns
Kenya is a growing economy (Chore, Karani & Chege, 2011). Like many other growing economies in Africa, Kenya faces numerous health care challenges. The country records high mortality rates among children and pregnant women. Malaria prevalence is still unacceptably high among poor Kenyans. In addition, deaths resulting from terminal diseases such as cancer remain high due to poor diagnosis (., 2011). It has also been noted that there is a big gap between the rich and the poor. While the medical needs of rich Kenyans have been fully catered for, their poor counterparts still lose lives due to preventable causes (Chore et al., 2011). The Kenyan government has identified malaria, aids, cancer and maternity issues as in the country. In this regard, policies have been put in place to address health problems but implementation has remained a problem. President Kenyatta recently ordered that pregnant women should not pay for maternity service. After this announcement, there was unprecedented congestion in public hospitals to an extent that most women ended up delivering without seeing a doctor or a nurse.