At the beginning of this year, AAH-I teamed up with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) based at the University of Washington in the US, to implement a research project looking into costs and constraints surrounding health service delivery in Kenya. This project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is being coordinated by the AAH Kenya country programme.
The study, which is also being implemented in other countries is designed to provide quality evidence for improving the equity and cost-effectiveness of health systems
In Kenya, the study which is taking place in over 300 different health care facilities - hospitals, health centres, clinics, pharmacies and HIV/AIDS care centers is attempting to identify the most cost-effective platforms and interventions in the health system, as well as what barriers exist to provision of care. The other important component of the study is evaluating attributes of ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) and HIV prevention programs offered in Kenya.
AAH Kenya, which began implementation of the study in mid-May, has put together a formidable team of well trained research assistants who are based in the 8 regions of Kenya where they have been carrying out data collection.
Anthony Munyua, a team leader, said his group of three research assistants has visited over half of their scheduled 40 facilities.
The data is gathered either through databases, records, and reports or through patient exit interviews and is fed into a six-part electronic questionnaire on netbooks and uploaded to databases based at IHME in readiness for data analysis.
“One of the biggest issues for both public and private facilities is the cost to the patient,” Munyua said. “But in the public facilities, patients are also commenting on the lack of medications and long waiting periods.” This study will help provide evidence of issues that encumber access to health care for majority of Kenyans with a view of contributing to the debate of providing sustainable solutions.
One hospital administrator, felt the value of this study would be in helping address better deployment of health personnel especially to rural facilities. “The biggest difference between the hospitals in major towns and the ones in country are the specialists. Otherwise we’re trying to offer the same level of services though with a skeleton staff”
Findings from this study are aimed at supporting policy makers, development partners and national stakeholders in achieving better and more equitable outcomes. AAH Kenya is planning to organize a dissemination workshop as well as produce publications including papers in peer reviewed journals to enhance wider use of the outcomes of this study.