Access to Healthcare for the Urban Poor in Nairobi, Kenya

Harnessing the Role of the Private Sector in Informal Settlements and a Human Rights-Based Approach to Health Policy

Authored by: Pauline Bakibinga , Elizabeth Bakibinga-Gaswaga

Handbook of Global Urban Health

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  May  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138206250
eBook ISBN: 9781315465456
Adobe ISBN:


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Africa’s urban population is growing rapidly, with the urban poor as the majority. The urban poor in informal settlements have pressing healthcare needs owing to a rising burden of chronic diseases amidst a high burden of infectious diseases. In Kenya, maternal mortality in informal settlements doubles the national average. The private and faith-based health facilities are the main provider of health services in the informal settlements but are not supervised and thus offer low quality of services at unaffordable cost. The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PAMANECH) implemented in Nairobi was a successful initiative that supported private health facilities to deliver community-based services through the infrastructural upgrade of private facilities, training healthcare workers and community health volunteers, and improving their leadership and governance. This improved the range and quality of services. However, this initiative will only be sustainable if a human rights-based approach to delivery of services is embraced.

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