In Summary
  • In many counties, most outpatient visits are due to respiratory diseases other than tuberculosis and pneumonia.
  • Malaria was the top reason for hospital visits in Busia, Homa Bay, Siaya, Bungoma and Migori.
  • Murang’a County recorded 77,834 outpatient visits due to hypertension in Kenya among people five years and older, the most in the country.

A small number of diseases are responsible for the vast majority of visits to health care facilities, a review of heath data by Nation Newsplex has revealed.

Incidentally, the same diseases that afflict children also afflict adults.

In many counties, most outpatient visits are due to respiratory diseases other than tuberculosis and pneumonia. Malaria is second while diarrhoea and skin diseases are third and fourth respectively.

Skin diseases include wounds. Pneumonia completes the list of top five causes of hospital visits.

There are also interesting findings about the concentration of diseases in certain counties.

Among those aged five years and above, Murang’a County recorded the most outpatient visits due to hypertension, while Kilifi recorded the most visits due to anaemia.

HOSPITAL VISITS

In children under five years, Bomet recorded the most visits due to mumps, while Uasin Gishu had the most visits due to malnutrition.

In 2015, Kenyans made more than 60 million visits to hospitals and health centres.

Of these, 44 million were made by people aged five years and above while another 15.5 million were by children under five years.

Children under five made seven million outpatient hospital visits because of respiratory diseases other than tuberculosis and pneumonia.

These accounted for 46 per cent of outpatient visits in that age group.

Confirmed malaria accounted for 1.8 million (11 per cent) of outpatient visits, followed by diarrhoea at 1.6 million (10 per cent), and skin diseases including wounds at 1.1 million visits (seven per cent).

Others were suspected malaria (five per cent) and pneumonia (four per cent).

For older people, which means those aged five years and over, respiratory diseases other than tuberculosis and pneumonia accounted for 11.2 million visits or 25 per cent of all outpatient visits.

Confirmed malaria drove 3.7 million visits (eight per cent) while suspected malaria were responsible for 1.5 million visits (three per cent).

MAJOR DISEASES

Skin diseases including wounds accounted for 3.6 million visits (eight per cent) while diarrhoea (1.5 million visits) and pneumonia (889,886 visits) and drove three per cent and two per cent of outpatient respectively.

Outpatient visits are important because they serve as a first point of contact with the health care system.

For children under five years old, eye and ear infections and intestinal worms were also among the top 10 conditions driving outpatient visits.

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