The Experiences on Attempts and Challenges of Providing Free or Affordable Universal Health Care in Developing Countries: Review of Kenyan Situation


  •   James Mwashembe Malusha


Ensuring the availability of quality and affordable health care for all citizens is a primary goal of every government. However, how they do it differs from country to country, but the bottom line is that many countries especially developing ones have challenges in providing accessible quality health care to all their citizens. Among the numerous approaches to providing health care to all, universal health care is the newest ‘kid in the block’ approach. Kenya has made numerous attempts to provide free or affordable health care to citizens but has encountered numerous challenges in the process. The approach has been mainly through health care reforms such as universal or categorical free health care or the introduction of health insurance and the expansion of its coverage. In Kenya, health care had been free since independence. Achieving quality health care requires concerted efforts aimed at diversifying and strengthening financing mechanisms and schemes as well as eliminating inefficiencies in health care. Moreover, there is a need to boost economic growth so as to raise GDP and income per capita which will go a long in improving the affordability of health care. This review article has looked at various mechanisms and challenges of financing health care in developing countries, with a particular focus on Kenya, in order to achieve universal health care. Nonetheless, there is a need for further research and comparative analysis on the cost-effectiveness of various financing mechanisms for health care in different countries. This is vital considering that health care is a right to all people.

Keywords: Developing Countries, Financing, Health, Kenya, Universal Health Care.


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How to Cite
Malusha, J. M. (2022). The Experiences on Attempts and Challenges of Providing Free or Affordable Universal Health Care in Developing Countries: Review of Kenyan Situation. European Journal of Development Studies, 2(5), 32–37.