In order to improve the social, economic and political well-being of Kenya, foreign funding organizations such as World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have played a key role. As it aligns with country emphasis on achieving a Vision 2030, the position of international funding agencies is obvious. In the social, economic and political fields the work of the World Bank was especially prominent. The World Bank has been able to help Kenya achieve its Millennium Development Goals socially through funding (The World Bank Group 2017). This has been depicted by an overall reduction in cases of child mortality, universal primary school enrolment, and narrowing of gaps between genders in education. Also, Kenya has been identified as East Africa’s fastest growing economy and Africa’s at large (MACHARIA, 2017). Funding by the World and the International Monetary Fund has seen the government address issues of poverty, low investment, and low productivity. The IMF has equally played a vital role by attempting to improve the balance of payments with regard to Fund credits. The IMF also acknowledges the impact of climate change and the natural disasters faced by Kenya. In collaborating with other international institutions like the World Bank, the organization has been instrumental in enabling organizations to create a policy framework to deal with such challenges. The IMF and World Bank have equally promoted the aspect of accountability from the government. For example, an increase in cases of corruption has been a significant impediment to socio-economic growth. The ruling class has taken advantage of their position in government to fleece public coffers. The World Bank is well aware of corruption in Kenya and continues to raise concerns regarding the same.
Role of a Healthy Population in Strengthening the Economy of Kenya
Health remains to be of critical significance in strengthening Kenya’s economy. New evidence has linked economic returns with better health. For example, an increase in healthcare burden results in diversification of funds meant for economic development to address the problem. In Kenya, HIV/AIDS has been a significant health burden (Turan et al., 2011). The government expenditure on control and management of the disease has been high. The funds could, however, be used for other developmental activities instead of addressing the issue on health. If the population is healthy, such funds can be used for other developmental activities to build the economy.
Secondly, healthy workers are more productive compared to those who are sick and unhealthy. If a nation is characterized by a huge population of unhealthy people, the chances are that the labor force will be affected. Kenya depends on agriculture as the mainstay of their economic wellbeing with revenue being earned from tea, coffee, and horticultural produce. Livestock and agricultural production require one to be healthy enough to execute the work. If the population is unhealthy, it means that such activities hindered.
Thirdly, better health has the benefit of raising the per capita income. A country characterized by a labor force suffering from heavy disease is likely to scare away investors. Kenya’s international relations has considerably improved in the recent times, and most investors have been willing to engage in various investment activities. The attraction is partly due to the averagely healthy Kenyan population.
Finally, endemic diseases are likely to deny human access to available natural resources. For example, cholera attacks reported in some parts of Kenya, makes the regions affected inhabitable. The economic activities in such locations are likely to be affected since most of the able people tend to shy away from that environment. Economic development is therefore significantly affected.
Role of the Leadership in Using Foreign Aid to Improve Healthcare System
Kenya continues to witness slow progress in maternal health progress. However, the Kenyan government has been instrumental in working out ways of attaining sustainability in healthcare. Various measures have been put in place to help the country achieve proper healthcare despite challenges. The national government, working with the county governments have introduced measures aimed at improving healthcare (Odhiambo, 2017). For example, the government introduced the free maternity bill where pregnant women could deliver in the hospital without pay. This has been instrumental in reducing mortality rates associated with deliveries out of the hospital. Through this arrangement, it has also been possible to reduce cases of child-to-mother infections on diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Foreign aid has also been used to equip hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment in a bid to improve healthcare services. Initially, hospitals were unable to provide sufficient care for lack of adequate equipment. However, foreign aid from institutions such as the USAID has been helpful in equipping hospitals with the machinery needed to enhance service provision (USAID, 2014). Particularly, a number of Kenyan hospitals have kidney dialysis machines making it possible to provide care to patients affected by the condition.
Finally, foreign aid has been used to create awareness for healthy living with a target on diseases that can be prevented. The USAID has been instrumental in a campaign of polio vaccines. The leadership of the country working with foreign donors have made significant strides in improving healthcare.
MACHARIA, K. (2017). Kenya’s economy to grow by 6 percent in 2017 – World Bank – Capital Business. Capital Business. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/business/2016/10/kenyas-economy-to-grow-by-6-percent-in-2017-world-bank/
Odhiambo, M. (2017). Counties in race to construct buildings for medical equipment. Business Daily. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Counties-in-race-to-construct-buildings-for-medical-equipment/-/539550/3176214/-/view/printVersion/-/xhnsgpz/-/index.html
Turan, J. M., Bukusi, E. A., Onono, M., Holzemer, W. L., Miller, S., & Cohen, C. R. (2011). HIV/AIDS Stigma and Refusal of HIV Testing Among Pregnant Women in Rural Kenya: Results from the MAMAS Study. AIDS and Behavior, 15(6), 1111–1120. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-010-9798-5
USAID (2014). Gives Equipment and Supplies for Maternal Health. (2014). Retrieved 6 March 2017, from https://www.fhi360.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/APHIAplus%20Nuru_newsletter_April_June2014_0.pdf
The World Bank Group. (2017). Worldbank.org. Retrieved 6 March 2017, from http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kenya/overview