As Kenyans, we need to be aware of what medical disease trends that have a higher chance of affecting our lifestyles and being a threat to our lives. People go about their lives every day without paying attention to what is most relevant to their health, eventually, they become sick and end up asking themselves questions like why and how.  It is important to keep educating ourselves with what is happening health wise and in our bodies.

It has been observed that infections especially those of the respiratory and digestive systems were the leading causes of hospital visits, with maternity services accounting for 8% of the total claims cost. Those affected by the infections are advised to enhance personal and environmental hygiene, including control of environmental pollution. It is also prudent to reinforce adequate child breastfeeding, immunization and hygiene concepts, especially in children.

Diseases of the respiratory system mostly affect children between the age zero and five. Children between these ages are also prone to certain infectious and parasitic diseases. This is mainly attributed to low immunity at this age, however, improvement is expected with growth and development. In order for these children to avoid being affected by these diseases, expectant mothers should be given optimal care, free from alcohol, drug and nicotine abuse to ensure safety during pregnancy. These children should receive adequate breastfeeding, completion of immunization schedules, a balanced diet and observation of hygiene concepts.

Children between the ages of six and ten years are most prone to injuries since this is an active phase of life, with experimental mindset. Their immunity is also not fully developed hence they get most infections in school where cross infections are common. These children should be provided with time and space for play, to enhance both physical and mental growth.

The youth tend to be greatly affected by diseases of the digestive system and diseases of the respiratory system. This being the most productive age group in most places of work, they are also exposed to hazards depending on the occupation.  Maternity expenses are also at the peak during this age group, hence the high utilization.

Those above the age of forty are affected by diseases of the digestive system and those of the circulatory system. For this bracket, it was observed that lifestyle diseases are pronounced and are required to get regular health checkups with disease management programs for lifestyle diseases and have the motivation for continuity of active lifestyle and healthy diets.

Across the board, the malaria prevalence rate in Kenya has reduced from 11% to 8% thanks to continued targeted malaria interventions. 70% of the country’s 46 million people are at risk of contracting malaria, with the Coastal areas and Lake Victoria region being the most affected.

The above insight shows that infections of the respiratory and digestive systems are due to the public’s interaction with the external environment which include pollutants in the air, food, water and drugs. Greater focus should be placed on personal and environmental hygiene with adherence to a balanced diet and regular physical activity.

By Betty Obingo Omune, General Manager-Medical Business, Resolution Insurance.