Kenya

In Kenya, there’s just one doctor for every 5,000 people—far less than the World Health Organization’s recommended ratio of one doctor for every 1,000 people.

Providing Critical Health Services through our Direct Operations

Where we work in Kenya

As a result, families often lack access to essential health services. This is especially dangerous for vulnerable populations, including pregnant mothers and young children, since fewer than 62 percent of births happen at health facilities and 52 out of every 1,000 Kenyan children die before their fifth birthdays.

Since 2015, Living Goods has worked closely with Kenya’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and county-level governments to strengthen the health system by recruiting, training, and supporting a network of community health workers (CHWs), known locally as Community Health Volunteers (CHVs).  At the end of 2018, Living Goods was supporting more than 2,000 of the Kenyan government’s 96,000 CHVs to improve community-level health services in 13 sub-counties within Busia, Kisii, Kakamega, Nakuru, Kiambu, and (most recently) Isiolo Counties.

By providing education and counseling support on nutrition, water and sanitation, the integrated treatment of malaria, diarrhea, and pneumonia, family planning, supporting immunization counseling and referrals, and the health of pregnant women and mothers, Living Goods pays special attention to the child’s first 1,000 days of life. This is a unique and critical period that establishes a child’s foundation for optimal health, growth, and mental development.

We are growing rapidly, and plan to support at least 7,500 CHVs serving more than 6 million people by 2021. To achieve our vision, we provide technical assistance and support for community health programming in close partnership the with national and decentralized county-level governments. As a result of our direct implementation and technical assistance to government in strategy support, digital health technology, performance management, and financing, we enabled 1 million Kenyans to live healthier lives in 2018.

Saving Lives in Kenya

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sick children under 5 assessed

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sick children under 5 treated

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new pregnancies registered

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total community health workers

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total people served

Cumulative data as of December 2018, updated quarterly

A community health worker assesses a sick child in Suneka, Kenya while receiving supportive supervision

Partnering with governments to deliver community health

Beyond our direct operations in Kenya, we work to support the government in developing supportive policies and financial frameworks that will strengthen community health services more broadly.  The data Living Goods-supported CHWs collect in our Smart Health app is compatible with the government’s District Health Information Software 2, an open-source software platform for reporting, analysis, and dissemination of data for various national health programs.

We also engage in advocacy to support financing and operationalizing Kenya’s community health strategy to improve health outcomes, reduce health systems costs, and mitigate the socioeconomic impact of having a high disease burden. The data we generate also helps the Ministry of Health’s Division of Family Health gather country-level evidence to raise awareness of the potential of community health and drive positive returns on investment in health care.

Living Goods also provides messaging and registration support for flagship government health care initiatives, including the Linda Mama (Protect a Mother) basic and free maternity services program.

In 2018, we ramped up our collaboration with government partners by increasing support to the MOH to achieve community health priorities through direct technical assistance and capacity building as well as increasing our participation in Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and government advisory committees, leading to several achievements, including:

  • Supporting the development of a community health investment case. Living Goods played a fundamental role in helping to develop an investment case for community health which the Kenyan Ministry of Health’s Community Health TWG has now ratified. Using the Living Goods approach for its model, the study showed that investments in community health have a 9.4-fold return on investment—stemming from the increased productivity and reduced disease burden that these investments enable. The study looked at costs across all levels of the community health system—not only at CHW- and facility-based levels.
  • Advocacy for both local- and national-level policymakers and donors around our findings in our counties of operations, which has contributed to the development of a community health bill in Kisii County, a community health policy in Kakamega County, and a request from Kiambu County to support the development of their community health bill. We are also assisting Busia County to craft the structure for Ojaamong Care, a health care initiative led by the governor, with specific input around community health.

Government Relations & Advocacy in Kenya

Learn more about how we’re partnering with the Kenyan government to develop the policies, budgets and operational frameworks to support effective community health programs.

Learn More

Supporting Universal Health Coverage in Kenya

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is part of the government’s Big Four Agenda, which Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta launched to drive economic and social growth. As one of just two organizations with NHIF registration agent status in Kenya, Living Goods is partnering with the government to register households in Isiolo County.

Under the UHC pilot initiative, which will benefit an estimated 40,000 households in Isiolo, Living Goods is also working in partnership with county governments to establish the best ways to deliver primary health services to nomadic populations – one of the most vulnerable populations in Kenya. The initiative is part of a plan to reach 100 percent of the population by leveraging private sector investments and alternative financing, health budget allocations, and digital health technology to ensure the availability of medicines and medical equipment.

As part of the government-led UHC committee, Living Goods also contributes technical expertise and community health know-how at the macro level. We also support the government’s technical working groups on community health, malaria, family planning, and maternal, newborn, and child health, which contribute to policy processes at the national and county levels. In addition, Living Goods supports various counties to develop community health policies as well as other strategic plans and health legislation.

A Living Goods-supported community health worker in Kenya conducts a sick child assessment


Other Strategic Partnerships

Living Goods’ strategic partnerships in Kenya extend beyond the national and local government to key international players. Living Goods is well-positioned to scale up our work in Kenya through innovative linkages with partners like Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives and improving people’s health by increasing equitable use of vaccines in lower-income countries, due in large part to our support from The TED Audacious Project.

In Kenya, Living Goods also partners with USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and, as a sub-recipient to FHI 360 through the Afya Uzazi project and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, to deepen and broaden our impact and influence in the delivery of community health services.

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Kenya Leadership

Thomas Opiyo Onyango

Country Director, Kenya

As Living Goods’ Kenya Country, Thomas drives strategy, leads the development of the team, and promotes Living Goods to key stakeholders in Kenya. Prior to Living Goods, Thomas was the General Manager for Merck Health Care & Life Science in Kenya, where he focused on team/talent management, business development, and key stakeholder relationships. His experience includes building high-performing organizations from his previous roles leading multinational pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Merck, Thomas worked for Novartis as Franchise Head – English East Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree in General Management from Strathmore University.  

Ruth Ngechu

Deputy Country Director, Community Health Partnerships

Ruth is a skilled public health specialist with extensive knowledge and skills in health policy, program management, knowledge management, community health programing, and health systems management. She has worked in both the public and private sectors and over the years has provided overall management and leadership in the development, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of integrated health programs. She is a doctoral candidate in Health Communications at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and holds a Master’s of Science in Health Systems Management from Kenya Methodist University. She is an M&E Fellow.

Njuru Ng’ang’a

Deputy Country Director, Field Operations

As Living Goods’ Kenya Deputy Country Director for Field Operations, Njuru supports our rapid scaling, ambitious goals and strategic direction in Kenya. For 14 years, he implemented USAID-funded programs in COP/DCOP roles in public health and economic growth in the East and Southern Africa region. Prior, he worked in the private sector in Kenya and for the regional USAID office in Nairobi. Njuru has an MPH from the University of the Witwatersrand, an MBA from USIU/Africa and a B.A. from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. He is passionate about service to humanity and building stronger, more resilient communities.

Kenya Technical Advisory Board

Professor Miriam Were 

Chairperson, Kenya Technical Advisory Board & Chancellor, Moi University

Professor Were is the Kenya Goodwill Ambassador for community health services. She has a long, active career with stints at the University of Nairobi, Kenya Ministry of Health, and high-level appointments to the UNICEF, WHO, and UNFPA. She has been on several boards, including the Chairperson of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and AMREF (Africa Medical and Research Foundation). Professor Were is a decorated public health champion with awards including the 2007 Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to International Public Health and Supporting the Health Needs of Disadvantaged people. She also won the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa prize for advancing community-based approach to health services. She is currently the Chancellor at Moi University.

Dr. James Mwanzia

Vice Chairperson, Kenya Technical Advisory Board

Dr. Mwanzia is a seasoned health professional and leader with over 15 years of experience managing large multilateral, donor-funded projects in Kenya and throughout Africa. Previously, he worked for Kenya’s Ministry of Health where he rose to the position of Director of Medical Services. He then proceeded to join the World Health Organization in various leadership roles in Zimbabwe, The Gambia, The Republic of Congo and South Africa. He held positions of Country Representative as well as Director, Division of Disease Control (DDC) in the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

Mr. Kwame Owino

Member, Kenya Technical Advisory Board & CEO, the Institute of Economic Affairs

Mr. Owino is CEO of the Institute of Economic Affairs, a think-tank that provides a platform for informed discussions in order to influence public policy in Kenya. He has been instrumental in leading IEA Kenya’s strategic intervention into the go-to think tank for Sub-Saharan Africa and the region. Having risen through the ranks at IEA Kenya, Kwame’s led research and policy dialogue in economic regulation and competition policy. He also has diverse interests in economic regulation, health economics, employment economics, and public sector reform. He undertakes and oversees research on public expenditure and revenue analysis, international trade, economic regulation, devolution and the use of futures methodologies to inform public affairs in Kenya.

Dr. Josea Rono

Member, Kenya Technical Advisory Board

Dr. Rono is the Managing Partner at E&K Consulting Firm – a leading advisory and investment firm providing turnkey solutions in the Healthcare, Finance and Technology sectors in Africa. He is also an entrepreneur and a recognized thought leader in healthcare business, health financing, global health & international development. He has advised on healthcare transactions (mergers and acquisitions), developed strategies for healthcare businesses, and advised several healthcare programs in Africa & Europe. He earned his Ph.D. from Karolinska Institute in Sweden and his Bachelor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of Nairobi. He is an alumnus of the Leadership & Management in Health Program of the University of Washington, USA. He holds an Adjunct Faculty Position at Strathmore Business School and is a fellow of the Swedish Institute Management Program (SIMP)

 

Ms. Rose Mambo

Member, Kenya Technical Advisory Board & CEO, Central Depository & Settlement Corporation

Ms. Mambo is the Chief Executive at the Central Depository & Settlement Corporation. She is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Fellow of the Institute of Certified Secretaries of Kenya. Rose has worked as a State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Office and at the Nairobi Securities Exchange as Company Secretary and Head of Legal and Compliance. She holds an MBA from Strathmore University, a Master of Laws degree from the American University in Washington DC specializing in international business law and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi.

Ms. Sarah Omache

Member, Kenya Technical Advisory Board & County Executive Committee Member, Health Services, Kisii County

Ms. Omache is the County Executive Committee member for Health Services in Kisii County, having served from 2013 to date. Prior to her appointment, she worked as a tutor at the Kisii Teachers College as well as at Nyanchwa and Gendia High Schools. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Walla Walla University (USA) and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Religion and Home Economics. She is also the current chairperson of the health committee within the Lake Region Economic Bloc–a consortium of thirteen Western Kenya counties.

Thomas Opiyo Onyango

Country Director, Kenya

As Living Goods’ Kenya Country, Thomas drives strategy, leads the development of the team, and promotes Living Goods to key stakeholders in Kenya. Prior to Living Goods, Thomas was the General Manager for Merck Health Care & Life Science in Kenya, where he focused on team/talent management, business development, and key stakeholder relationships. His experience includes building high-performing organizations from his previous roles leading multinational pharmaceutical companies. Prior to Merck, Thomas worked for Novartis as Franchise Head – English East Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree in General Management from Strathmore University.  


Contact us!

15 Gem Lane,
Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Tel: +254 728 630 936
Mail to: P.O. Box 30261-0010
Nairobi, Kenya

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