Consumer insights

Struggling to thrive: How Kenya’s low-income families (try to) pay for healthcare

March 22nd, 2016

Drawing primarily on Kenya Financial Diaries, this report explores the nature of the healthcare financing challenge for poor Kenyan households, looking at how often the poor seek healthcare, how much they pay for it, how they raise money to finance healthcare spending, how they perceive their health risks and whether the costs of health services deter them from seeking access. In combination with the latest evidence on healthcare utilisation and expenditure from other quantitative and qualitative studies to provide a comprehensive account of how the poor access and pay for healthcare in Kenya.

In addition to the Kenya Financial Diaries, this report also incorporates the data and insights from the Kenya household health expenditure and utilisation survey (KHHEUS), the Access, bottlenecks, costs and efficiency study (ABCE) conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Action Africa Help-International (AAH-I) and the Financial Inclusion insights health facility study conducted by Intermedia.

Additional resources: 

1. Presentation by Julie Zollmann delivered at private sector dialogue on achieving universal health coverage
2.Blog highlighting the two major financing challenges Kenya’s families must face when paying for healthcare
3. Private sector innovation program for health (PSP4H)
4. Kenya Healthcare Federation
5. Struggling to Thrive Report


Zollmann, J. & Ravishankar, N. (2016). Struggling to thrive: How Kenya’s low-income families (try to) pay for healthcare. Nairobi, Kenya: FSD Kenya.



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