In Kenya, MCHIP has programs for maternal, newborn and child health, family planning, immunization, HIV, and malaria, and has been working in-country since the beginning of the Program. As in all countries, strong data on disease prevalence, service coverage, and other health indicators are key resources for the Program in both in designing and framing our work when we write publications. As such, it’s always exciting when new, national data is available in countries where we work.
In May, the final report for the Kenya 2010 Service Provision Assessment (SPA) was released. SPA’s have been conducted by the USAID-funded MEASURE DHS project in 10 countries to date. While the standard DHS—a key resource for MCHIP and other global health projects—provides data on coverage of services and is comparable across countries, the SPA offers a comprehensive overview of a country’s health care services and their ability to provide high-quality care. The survey focuses on supply side components of the health system, and provides a useful and interesting complement to the standard DHS.
The Kenya 2010 SPA findings highlight key strengths and weaknesses of the health system. A few interesting findings include:
· Just under half of the facilities have a regular water supply (from a tap in the facility or a pump or well within 500 meters of the facility). Only 1 in 4 facilities has a regular supply of electricity.
· Although nearly all facilities offer outpatient curative care for sick children, only one-third have integrated management of childhood illness chart booklets. Moreover, only 4 of 10 facilities with curative child health services meet the criteria for providing routine staff training.
· Three-quarters of facilities offer temporary modern methods of family planning, and few family planning clients have issues with the services they receive.
· Only one in five antenatal care facilities has all of the medicines necessary for managing common complications of pregnancy.
· Normal delivery services are available in 3 of 10 facilities, including 95% of hospitals; however, caesarean sections are available nearly exclusively in hospitals.
· Newborn respiratory support is available in 7 of 10 facilities, including 92% of hospitals.
· Community health workers are interested in strengthening their relationships with health facilities. More than 80% refer sick clients to facilities, although only one-third receive regular supervision from the Ministries of Health.