Despite being classified as a middle-income country and despite improvements in the health care sector in Kenya huge disparities in health care provision exists across the country. Especially the counties in the northeast close to Somalia are challenged by security threats and across the country traditional and cultural practices result in unequal states of health in Kenya.

The population of Kenya was estimated at 43.2 million in 2013. Currently the population of Kenya is comprised of a huge youth bulge. 64 % of the population is below 24 years of age, 20.6 % of whom are youth aged 15 to 24. This has created a unique opportunity for the country to reap a ‘demographic dividend’ – a boost in economic productivity that occurs when there are growing numbers of people in the workforce relative to the number of dependents.

Health care structure

In 2010 Kenya adopted a new constitutional framework that has established a devolved system of governance with 47 counties, introducing a new political and development dimension. With this devolution process the responsibility for health care services moved from the centralized government to the counties.