PROJECT 47: Emergency Departments in 47 Counties

PROJECT 47 | Emergency Departments in 47 Counties


For many people in Kenya and across the world, the emergency department (ED) is the primary point of access to the health system. An increasing number of patients with acute disease currently present to EDs across Kenya. This is due to the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) (such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension), mental illness and trauma (largely secondary to road traffic injuries) in the background of an already existing large burden of communicable diseases. Recently, the need for strengthening Kenya’s emergency medical care system has gained more recognition by the government and other stakeholders involved in the healthcare system in Kenya. The gap in lack of an emergency medical care system is a good opportunity for the County Governments to step in and provide the necessary critical services for its people. An absence of an emergency medical care system is furthermore a barrier to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), a top priority for President Kenyatta’s big four agenda in his last term. The goal of Project 47 is to assess the current state and locations of emergency care centres in all 47 counties in Kenya, identify gaps, and set priority actions for use by County Governments, planners and partners as a road map toward universal emergency care coverage. 

Main Objective

The primary objective is to gather information about the current location and state of emergency care centres in Kenya including spatial access to these centres. An emergency care centre here is defined as any dedicated intake area for acutely ill and injured patients that is open and staffed 24 h in a facility that has a functioning operating theatre. 

Specific Objectives

  1. Identify the location of emergency care centres in all 47 counties
  2. Characterise the current state of emergency care centres in the counties
  3. Determine the proportion of the population within the counties that can access emergency medical care within the ‘golden hour’
  4. Determine the proportion of the population within the counties that can access emergency surgery (caesarean delivery, laparotomy, and treatment of open fracture (the Bellwether Procedures)) within 2 h
  5. Plan priority actions for counties in response to the identified gaps and goals
  6. Draft an implementation roadmap for County Governments to complete the priority actions
  7. To design ways to monitor the implementation progress towards carrying out the priority actions
  8. Strengthen the emergency departments in the counties to improve efficiency in emergency triage and treatment
  9. Provide support to the County Governments in strengthening the critical hospital infrastructure to handle medical emergencies

Project Tasks

  • Assessment of emergency care centres: We assessed the capacity “hardware” (e.g. facilities, human resources) and “software” (e.g. guidelines) of the emergency care centres (as defined above) to handle medical emergencies. The WHO Generic Essential Emergency Equipment List and the WHO Integrated Management for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care tools were used for this assessment.
  • GPS & GIS mapping of emergency departments: We mapped out all emergency care centres (as defined above) in the Country. Geographic Information System (GIS) network analysis was used to quantify the population-level spatial accessibility to the emergency care centres.

Dr. Benjamin Wachira, Ass. Prof. Emergency Medicine at AKUHN and Claude Blatter – GBM Africa Lead

Google in partnership with Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation (EMKF), Ministry of Health and BP Systems Online, have mapped public hospitals with emergency medical care services across the country on Search and Maps enabling Kenyans to navigate online with ease by searching “emergency centre near me” and find their closest hospital. Additionally, patients can now easily find opening times, contact numbers and the emergency services offered in the public hospitals online. READ MORE

  • Donation of emergency medical care equipment: EMKF will donate an ECG machine and a Vital Signs monitor to the County Referral Hospital emergency care centres and train the staff on Triage and ECG interpretation.
  • Installation of emergency access phone lines to support emergency communication to the emergency care centres and facilitate referrals between the emergency care centres
  • Donation of evidence-based Emergency Care Algorithms to the emergency care centre staff to support emergency care treatment in the Counties

Reporting, Validation & Presentation of Findings

Detailed key findings will be developed in a Draft Report. The Draft Report will be presented to each County Government to validate the results. We will work with the County Government to plan priority actions for the county in response to the identified gaps and goals and draft an implementation roadmap for each of the County Governments to complete these priority actions. We will also design ways for the County Government to monitor the implementation progress. A final discussion and feedback on the findings and roadmap will be done and amendments agreed upon reflected in the Final Report given to each County Government.

Project Partners

In case of any queries, kindly contact us on +254 710 633 855 and or Emily Nyagaki on +254 777 878 809 or