The prevalence of non-communicable diseases like diabetes is rising in low and middle-income countries like Kenya disproportionately to the rest of the world.
A large proportion of Kenyans aged 15-49 don’t have health insurance which makes the services unaffordable for most people given the overall high cost of services relative to income.
The treatment costs include physician consultation, medication, and admissions for managing symptoms. The costs are higher in private facilities than in public facilities.
32% of patients requiring insulin only cost about sh18,650 in public facilities and only 10% of patients cost sh55,000 in private facilities. 25% of patients requiring oral medication only costs sh9,000 and 65% in private costs sh49,000.
Both insulin and oral medication in about 43% of patients cost sh25,000 in public facilities and in 25% of patients cost sh70,000 in private facilities.
In an investigation to estimate the cost of diabetes treatment in Kenya (2019), research was conducted on diabetes care at five public health facilities in Kenya.
Medicines and user charges were classified as direct health care costs while expenses on transport, food, and accommodations direct non–health care costs.
Productivity losses due to diabetes were classified as indirect costs. The mean annual direct patient cost was sh53 907.Medicines accounted for 52.4%, transport 22.6%, user charges 17.5%, and food 7.5% of total direct costs.
The mean annual indirect cost was sh23 174. There are substantially high costs borne by diabetic patients seeking care in Kenya.