Mwai, Daniel . 2016. “Economic Effects of Non-Communicable Diseases on Household Income in Kenya: A Comparative Analysis Perspective.” Public Health Research 6:3: 83-90.
Download reference Doi:10.5923/j.phr.20160603.02
Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have been on the increase in Kenya over the past decade. This rising trend has led NCDs to account for over 30% of the annual total disease-related deaths in the country. Between 2005 and 2009, major NCDs (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory ailments and diabetes) accounted for over half of the top 20 causes of disease-related deaths in Kenya. The high expenditures for managing NCDs expose households to risks of financial catastrophe and poverty. Methodology:The paper has adopted an econometric method to investigate the effects of NCDs on household income in Kenya. Further, the paper establishes the comparative analysis of NCDs with illnesses due to communicable diseases (CDs) in order to argue for the potential effect of NCDs, relative to other illnesses, on households’ income. Sample design and possible heterogeneity arising from unobserved households’ characteristics correlated with household income levels has been addressed. To achieve this, Kenya Household Health Expenditure and Utilization Survey of 2007 data is utilized. Findings, Conclusions and Policy Recommendations: The key finding is that, while general ailments reduce household income by 13.63%, NCDs reduce household income by 28.64%. NCDs are associated with a 23.17% reduction in household income relative to a household affected by communicable disease. Another key finding is that, although all types of ailments have negative effects on household income and welfare, NCDs have more severe impacts. The key policy recommendation is for the government to put in place a health financing strategy for NCDs, and especially one that subsidizes the cost of care and treatment of NCDs.