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[afro-nets] DVD on consumer testimonies on affordability and availability of essential medicines in Kenya

  • From: "Stella Etemesi" <info@haiafrica.org>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 14:17:38 +0300

Consumers Testimonies on affordability and availability of essential medicines in Kenya

According to regular medicine price and availability monitoring surveys that have been conducted in Kenya by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and HAI Africa since 2006, many Kenyans cannot access the medicines they need, and high prices is one of the main reasons. The key findings from these surveys are that:

a.. Availability of essential medicines is low in the public sector; that is on average, the medicines surveyed are available in less than 60% of the public facilities.
b.. The prices of medicines are highest in the private sector, and lowest in the public sector; and
c.. For most Kenyans, essential medicines are simply unaffordable in all health sectors, even in the public sector, the prices of medicines place them out of reach for the majority of Kenyans living in poverty.
To understand more about what consumers think about affordability of medicines in Kenya, HAI-Africa undertook a rapid survey between August and September 2007 to gather personal testimonies on access to medicines. A number of interviews with rural and urban folk were conducted in Nyanza Province, within the capital city of Nairobi, and along the coastal strip of Kenya. The respondents represented a range of occupations and income groups including a small business operator, a farmer, a fisherman, a civil servant, a teacher, and a support staff working in private firm, among others.

Their stories are recorded in a short documentary titled "The Unsettling Equation: Consumer testimonies on affordability and availability of essential medicines." The documentary narrates the personal real life experiences of ordinary Kenyan consumers, and gives a human face to the problem of accessing essential medicines in Kenya.

The documentary which is on DVD format is available from the HAI Africa secretariat (requests for copies may be directed to info@haiafrica.org). The DVD may be used a tool for creating awareness about the problems of access to medicines as well as for lobbying for development of policies and practices that will improve access to essential medicines in the country.

HAI Africa is in the process of producing a book to showcase the consumer testimonies in print format. The book will be published later on this year.

Stella Etemesi
Health Action International (HAI) Africa
mailto: info@haiafrica.org
Website: http://www.haiafrica.org