Harnessing the Power of Digital Technology to Create an Inclusive Healthcare Landscape.
The developments in healthcare in Kenya signal a transformative era in the nation’s healthcare landscape. From the launch of Universal Health Coverage on this year’s Mashujaa Day, and the commencement of the Digital Health Act 2023 a few weeks ago coupled with the deployment of 100,000 Community Health Promoters, the government is reshaping patient care. However, amid these advances, inclusivity, and equity remain pressing issues for many vulnerable groups of Kenyans, including people with disabilities.
The new advances in healthcare intend to ensure every Kenyan has access to essential health services without enduring geographical or socio-economic discrimination. Despite the advances, there are still huge disparities in healthcare access and quality, and individuals living with disabilities are disproportionately affected. Collective data suggests that between 1 and 3 million Kenyans live with some form of disability, with 80% residing in rural areas. Notwithstanding having a higher disease and sickness burden compared to the general population, people living with disabilities report substantial challenges in accessing healthcare services including physically inaccessible medical facilities; lack of appropriate transport to seek medical care or rehabilitation services; healthcare personnel untrained in the delivery of care that aligns with the needs and preferences of people with different disabilities; negative attitudes and harmful or negligent practices; and even denial of treatment on grounds of disability.
Digital health, while not the universal remedy, offers the potential to dismantle some of these barriers and move us closer to achieving true inclusive healthcare for all Kenyans, including those living with disabilities. As a leading online healthcare provider, we enable individuals to access medical and mental health advice and information from the comfort of their homes, mitigating the need for long journeys to healthcare facilities. Furthermore, our partners running digital pharmacies simplify the process by allowing medication orders and deliveries, eliminating the need for in-person visits.
Telemedicine solutions like what we provide, are not only shifting the expectations of patient care but are setting a new standard for inclusivity, and we serve as a model for all healthcare services, whether virtual or in-person. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, and it is imperative that all Kenyans, regardless of their location, financial means, or abilities, can seek medical services without systemic inconveniences. By harnessing the power of digital health, Kenya can continue its journey towards a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system for all. Digital health is not solely about improving healthcare; it’s about ensuring that no one is left behind on the path to better health and well-being, which lies at the core of UHC.
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Harnessing the Power of Digital Technology to Create an Inclusive Healthcare Landscape. The developments in healthcare in Kenya signal a transformative era in the nation’s