The Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognises that every Kenyan has a right to the highest attainable standard of health. Even then, many Kenyans still lack access to quality health care, and key health indicators remain poor. For instance, according to the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS 2014), maternal mortality ratio stands at 366 per 100,000; infant mortality rate at 39 per 1,000 live births; and under-five mortality rate at 52 per 1,000. Further, only 68 percent of children are fully immunised; only 61 percent of deliveries take place in a health facility, and the stunting rate in children remains high at 26 percent.
Community participation is critical in Kenya’s efforts to accelerate progress in tackling these health challenges. The Kenya Health Policy (2014-2030) and the Kenya Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan (2014-2018) have both identified community-level high impact intervention as one of the eight health sector flagship projects that will significantly contribute to the achievement of Vision 2030.
This policy brief discusses the role of community health in enabling access to universal health care and accelerating progress to reduce child and maternal deaths.