01.02.01. Prevalence and burden of significant non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or conditions | Kenya

01.02.01. Prevalence and burden of significant non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or conditions | Kenya

14 Feb 2022

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) account for more than 50 to 70% of hospital admissions and 55% of hospital deaths in Kenya (MoH-Kenya, KNBS, & WHO, 2015). The greatest burden on the healthcare system is attributable to four major NCDs: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and chronic respiratory illnesses. According to the 2015 NCDs surveillance using the STEPS (STEPwise approach to surveillance), a standardized protocol involving three levels of gathering data on demographics and risk factors from nationally representative populations, articles revealed the following rates (Wamai, Kengne, & Levitt, 2018):

Hypertension: The age-standardized prevalence for hypertension in Kenya was 24.5% with 15.6% of them being aware of their elevated blood pressure of which 26.9% were on treatment and only half were able to achieve their blood pressure control.

Diabetes: The age-standardized prevalence for pre-diabetes and diabetes mellitus was 3.1% and 2.4% respectively, with 43.7% being aware of having pre-diabetes or diabetes of whom 20% were on treatment and only 7% were able to achieve glycaemic control.

Cervical cancer: Out of 1180 women who were interviewed, 16.4% had screened for cervical cancer despite high awareness.

NCDs common risk factors: Three-quarters of individuals who had participated in the STEPS study had four to six risk factors for NCDs while 10% were exposed to more than six risk factors. The most universal risk factor was inadequate fruit intake (99.8%), and majority had high dietary salt consumption (89.5%) and insufficient physical activity (80.3%). Other modifiable risk factors associated with these four NCDs are tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, air pollution, environmental degradation, climate change and psychological stress. Additional significant contributors to the burden of disease are violence, injuries, haemoglobinopathies, mental disorders, oral, eye and dental diseases.



MoH-Kenya, KNBS, & WHO. (2015). Kenya STEPwise Survey for Non Communicable Diseases Risk Factors 2015 Report. MoH-Kenya. https://www.health.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Executive-summary-6-2.pdf

Wamai, R. G., Kengne, A. P., & Levitt, N. (2018). Non-communicable diseases surveillance: Overview of magnitude and determinants in Kenya from STEPwise approach survey of 2015. BMC Public Health, 18(Suppl 3), 1–8. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6051-z