Integrating health services in Kenya


A Kenyatta National Hospital volunteer walks through the empty corridors of the country's biggest hospital.


Simon Maina

Back in Nairobi it became clear that the impact of GHI is not so much on-the-ground as it is in-the-head. Health workers involved in US funded projects are thinking and talking about what they do in a different way.

For now, that may not translate into immediate changes for the average patient; with no new money there are no shiny new projects emblazoned with a GHI logo that can be pointed to as proof of its success.

Instead, in Kenya, the important health work that is funded by the US, and is saving lives, is ongoing. It is getting easier for patients to access better and more comprehensive healthcare, thanks to the growing integration of agencies and their programs.

Of course, it seems blindingly obvious that people should talk more, cooperate more, share resources and treat the entire patient – or even entire community – rather than just the narrow ailment, but then many of the best ideas are, once articulated, just that: obvious.