When we think about health, we think affordability, good quality healthcare centers in proximity to our schools & homes and doctors who are willing, able and ready to treat us and care for us.
It’s no secret that the Kenyan healthcare system has been plagued by issues of low-quality and counterfeit medication, especially with the events of the past few weeks but what can be done to help fix that?
One of the key ways that can be done is by listening to their patients. Patients need quality attention, they need health care providers to care for them without the need of bribes and unnecessary payments and they need healthcare systems that work.
This is exactly what Equity Afia is and that’s what they still plan on doing for Kenyans across the country.
Speaking to Dr Jacqueline Wangechi Njoroge, a medical doctor and a deputy medical superintendent at Thika Level 5 hospital, Equity Afia is a group of medical providers who have come together as a network of medical providers with the aim of providing high quality, affordable and accessible healthcare to all Kenyans.
The doctor who owns two of the clinics, one from the pilot program – Equity Afia Thika and one in Kahawa West, says that the initiative was a much-needed response to the growing need of affordable quality healthcare for all Kenyans especially with the very large gap between the rich and the poor.
She needs Kenyans of all backgrounds to have access to quality healthcare services, be it if they are in formal and informal employment who access healthcare services either out of pocket, under the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), under in-house schemes by companies or through medical insurance companies.
Elaborating further on what services are offered and why people should be aware of their services, she explains that they provide
“Curative and preventative health care services and are now increasingly emphasizing on preventive care services since those are easier to treat. As a doctor who specializes in Internal Medicine, preventative healthcare services like integrated immunization services, screening for chronic diseases including cancer as well as structured free health talks on various lifestyle diseases in the work place, churches and other organized gatherings and communities goes a long way in preventing long term illnesses that cost a lot of
money and emotional as well as physical turmoil on the patients and their families.
Consultation for a general practitioner goes for Kshs 500 with the fee at the consultancy clinics going for Kshs 1,500 and physiotherapy going for Kshs 800 per session. If you compare this with the amounts we pay in other private hospitals, these figures are quite affordable.”
Highs and lows faced along the way
“One of the biggest hurdles we faced was the fact that we took longer than expected to be accredited by NHIF and as you know, most Kenyans depend on the service. It also took a while for people to recognize us as a health care provider; most saw us as an insurance provider. But we are grateful for the traction we’ve gotten so far. Before we’d get an average of 5 patients a day but now we see between 50 and 60 patients in a day at the Thika clinic and the number is still growing.
The challenges are many but above all, we are glad to be in a position to be transforming lives. At my two clinics I have currently employed 21 permanent staff and through the 11 networks that we have, we have employed more than 100 people, meaning more than 100 families have a source of income. Also, through the many affordable services we offer, we are able to help many manage their health, especially for patients with chronic long-term diseases. We are also helping the government in achieving the Big 4 agenda of ensuring affordable healthcare for all.
Equity Afia clinics have also provided a platform for alumni of the Equity Africa Leaders Program and Wings to Fly scholars who were qualified health professionals to use their health expertise to transform lives and livelihoods of Kenyans through offering affordable quality and accessible health care.”
“We set up our clinics in locations where clients can easily access either by public means or private means and which are easy to see for our clients. They are also located on lower floors in buildings with both ramp and lift access.”
You can find the list of clinic locations from this link: