Kenya, a nation marked by a burgeoning youth population comprising 75% (47 million) of its total demographic, faces significant challenges in ensuring that its young people can access quality healthcare services and information. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS ,2019) reported that 53% of young Kenyans lack access to adequate healthcare information. The barriers to achieving this goal are multifaceted, encompassing issues such as lack of awareness, stigma, discrimination, poverty, geographical constraints, and cultural norms. The result is that many young Kenyans endure preventable and treatable health issues, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, reproductive health problems, mental health challenges, and malnutrition. Additionally, opportunities for young people to engage in healthcare as professionals, advocates, policymakers, or innovators remain limited.
Healthy Young Kenya is a non-profit organization committed to closing the healthcare gap between Kenyan youth and the healthcare system. We firmly believe that every Kenyan deserves equitable access to quality healthcare and the opportunity to contribute to the health of their communities and nation. We also recognize that young people are the best catalysts for change and innovation in the healthcare sector if provided with the necessary support and guidance.
Our work centers around three core objectives:
- Dissemination of Health Information: Equipping young Kenyans with the knowledge needed to lead healthy and productive lives.
- Fostering Health Engagement: Encouraging youth participation in healthcare matters, from policy development to collective action.
- Empowering Healthcare Innovators: Mentoring young Kenyans to become healthcare changemakers and innovators, guiding their ideas toward implementation and scalability.
These are our guiding core values:
- Integrity: We uphold the highest ethical standards in all our operations and programs and are accountable to our stakeholders. We believe that integrity is the foundation of trust, transparency, and credibility in our relationships with our stakeholders.
- Inclusivity: We promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work and strive to empower marginalized communities. We believe that inclusivity is essential for creating a fair, just, and sustainable society that benefits everyone.
- Innovation: We embrace creativity, experimentation, and learning to develop new solutions and approaches to social problems. We believe that innovation is key to unlocking the potential of young Kenyans and creating a better future for all.
- Inspiration: We inspire and motivate young Kenyans to become agents of change and leaders of tomorrow through education, mentorship, and empowerment. We believe that inspiration is essential for nurturing the talents, aspirations, and dreams of young Kenyans.
- Impact: We focus on achieving measurable and meaningful impact on the lives of young Kenyans and their communities through evidence-based practices and continuous improvement. We believe that impact is the ultimate measure of our success in fulfilling our mission and vision.
Healthy Young Kenya was founded by Kenyan native Maina Gibson, a pharmacist who participates in many healthcare delivery projects in rural parts of Kenya, and Hannah FitzGerald who shares a similar passion for advocating the benefits of proper healthcare practices in order to live healthier and longer lives for all.
Maina’s first-hand experience of growing up in rural Kenya led him to the mission of wanting to provide more accessible and reliable healthcare information to young adults in Kenya. While growing up in the rural parts of Central Kenya, access to healthcare services was, and still is, a major challenge.
Since there are few healthcare providers, communicating disease prevention and awareness information to the public is not a real priority for the healthcare system. Our goal is to fix this problem, so young Kenyans have the necessary information to enable them to take good care of their health.
Healthy Young Kenya is dedicated to transforming the health landscape for Kenya’s youth. Together, we can bridge the healthcare information gap and create a brighter future for Kenya’s youth and the nation.