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Sarah Lawrence College

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Kenya: Urbanization, Health, and Human Rights


Healthcare is a challenge in countries of the Global South. Not only do climates and trends of rapid urbanization affect the health status of many negatively, but also many health facilities are inaccessible and not of good quality, they lack enough medical personnel and lack the resources to adequately provide for patients who do not have the resources them selves. As the wealth gap increases all over the world and resources continue to be distributed unequally communicable and non-communicable health issues plague those in urban and rural settings at an alarmingly high rate and as health innovation has worked to end these health issues they do not always reach the most marginalized and vulnerable populations – those living in the very rural environment and those living in low-income urban areas and informal urban settlements (slums). New healthcare systems have been emerging all over the global south in hopes of facing these public health issues head. They utilize a strategy based on referral and trying to meet people where they are at – in the community. Community health systems encourage community participation in the community health and strive to provide true basic, primary, accessible health care to all and to attack larger public health issues as community units as opposed to individuals. How do these community units work in informal urban settlements? This study aims to answer that question by looking at a specific area in the Eastlands part of Nairobi, Kenya. It takes an in-depth look at the functioning of the Kenyan community care strategy and the specific issues around it in one specific low-income area.


Community-Based Research | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Place and Environment | Public Health


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