Kenya has been ranked ninth in health governance capacity, lagging behind Tanzania and Uganda in a report released last week.
The country got an overall score of 68 out of a possible 100, behind Tanzania and Uganda which tied at sixth position with a score of 70 per cent.
Despite performing above average in individual indicators such as leadership and management, health policies, regulations, health systems and infrastructure and financing, Kenya was still beaten by its East African neighbours.
Kenya, however, was hailed for using mobile phones to track maternity deaths and outperformed its neighbours by having better institutions and resources.
The report, Health Governance Capacity: Enhancing Private Sector Investment in Global Health, analysed the capacity of Kenya, along with 17 other countries, to effectively utilise private investments in healthcare research and development.
The researchers assessed the overall health governance capacity of 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia by examining 25 indicators related to the management capacity, regulatory processes, health infrastructure and financing, health systems, and policy conditions in those countries.
“Good governance is a foundational condition for global health investment,” the authors said. “It conditions the overall environment in which both public and private sector health investment takes place.”
They called on African countries to increase government transparency and stability, lower tariffs on medical products, expedite the regulatory process for new drugs and invest in health infrastructure if they are to attract more private investment.
The researchers also advise on the need for governments to increase spending on health care in an efficient and targeted manner. “By boosting private investment in global health research and development, the world can achieve even more impressive gains in personal well-being and economic growth,” the authors conclude.
This is the first in a series of planned publications under the Brookings Private Sector Global Health Research and Development Project.
Efforts to increase investment in global health traditionally focus on national governments and publicly funded multilateral aid organizations, the team of researchers said.