Disease prevalence depends on a variety of factors including climate, lifestyles and the environment. Government and NGO intervention and increased awareness lead to improved health care which in turn tends to curtail rate of infection and fatality.
Located in Tropical Africa along the equator, Kenya has been susceptible to malaria, for instance. These warm temperatures are not just conducive for the Anopheles mosquitoes to survive and multiply, but also enable malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum, to complete their growth cycle in the mosquitoes.
This is supported by figures from the Civil Registration Department that show malaria as the number 1 killer in Kenya. In 2014 alone 22,948 people died of malaria in Kenya, more than any other disease.
Looking at overall morbidity figures, there is a general rise in total disease incidences with 47,038,650 cases recorded in 2014, a 7.8 per cent growth in the year alone.
An interesting observation from looking at individual disease incidences, though, is the fall in the share of malaria incidences form just under 30% in 2010 (11,371,889 cases) to 20.5% in 2014 (9,660,992 cases) – less and less of the disease incidents attended to are malaria. This is a good thing, right?
As malaria is falling, there is a dramatic rise in cases of diseases of the respiratory system – a growth of 12.8% in just 5 years to 38.5% dwarfing malaria from 2011 onwards. More and more Kenyans are coming down with respiratory diseases like asthma and tuberculosis and the big question here is why?
Over to you, healthcare professionals.