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Tufts University

Publication Date

Spring 2015

Program Name

Kenya: Urbanization, Health, and Human Rights


Sports are one of life's greatest gifts. People love watching, discussing and participating in sports. Kenya has a rich and successful history in certain sports, notably in athletics (track and field). Since the 1960's, Kenyans have won several gold medals and numerous world champions. In addition, Kenyans have dominated the world marathons since the 1980's. Kenya has some of the best yet simplest training areas, some of the best coaches, and some of the hardest working athletes in the world. However, people do not realize that many Kenyan athletes only shine for a few years before they vanish in the light of other athletes. The turnover rate is so high yet so unnoticed. A major reason for this is because of the poor overall understanding and application of Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) and Physiotherapy. Physiotherapy is offered to the elite athletes, yet the concept of SEM and the doctors specializing in SEM is essentially non existent. One injury can end an athletes career, especially an amateur athlete with no access to services, and this contributes to the high turnover rate.

Football, however, does not have a prosperous history, and currently Kenya's domestic league is far worse than the leagues in Europe and South America. Unlike athletics, football in Kenya has poor facilities, poor coaching, a lack of equipment and insufficient funding. Many people are aware of these issues and realize this as a problem. However, nothing is done in the field of of SEM and physiotherapy. Footballers tend to receive much more serious injuries than athletes, due to football's high amount of contact, and many footballers end their career early. The potential of footballers in Kenya is incredibly high, however, one simply injury that could be dealt with in Europe or the United States is overlooked in Kenya, and the results are devastating for the footballer.

This project will aim to study the available and affordable treatment for Kenyan athletes and footballers, while also looking at different aspects such as ways to improve the accessibility and methods of treatment, the influence of the government and media, and reasons why athletics in Kenya still thrives while football is struggling.


African Studies | Arts and Humanities | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Therapy | Recreational Therapy | Rehabilitation and Therapy | Sports Management | Sports Sciences


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