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Top killer diseases in Kenya

According to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), Kenya ranks at 132 in regards to life expectancy. The data placed Males at 64.4, females at 68.9 and a total life expectancy of 66.7.

The report indicated that diseases such as diabetes, breast and lung cance, pneumonia, diarrhoea and Hiv/AIDS are top killer diseases in Kenya.

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Diarrhoea caused by a virus called ‘intestinal flu’ or ‘stomach flu’ that get into the gut has claimed thousands of lives in the country.

Other causes of diarrhoea can be; Contaminated food, Diabetes, intestinal diseases, alcohol among others.


  • Bloating in your belly
  • Cramps
  • Thin or loose stools
  • Watery stools
  • An urgent feeling that you need to have a bowel movement
  • Nausea and throwing u

Serious symptoms of diarrhoea are;

  • Blood or mucus in your stool
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

WHO reported in 2017 that the country recorded 33,224 in the country which makes 11.8 per cent. It ranks Kenya fifth in the world.


Pneumonia is one of the feared killer disease in the country and takes top in the list. It is a lung infection that can at times be mild and at times so severe. One gets pneumonia an infection causes the air sacs in your lungs to fill with fluids of pus leading to poor breathing due to lack of enough oxygen. The disease affects everybody but infants below 2 years and adults above 65 are at high risk. Pneumonia is caused by Bacteria, viruses, or fungi.


  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Cough that produces phlegm or mucus
  • Fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Fever, sweating, and chills
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

According to WHO, Kenya ranked at number 41 with 26,947 death which makes 9.5 per cent.


According to CDC, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and if not treated leads to Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It should be not that currently there is no cure for Hiv although it can be controlled and people with it can live longer.


  • Fever,
  • Chills,
  • Rash,
  • Night sweats,
  • Muscle aches,
  • Sore throat,
  • Fatigue,
  • Swollen lymph nodes, and
  • Mouth ulcers.

Kenya recorded 29,911 deaths caused by HIV/AIDS translating to 10.62 per cent ranking at number 23 with a death rate of 75.25 per 100,000 .


Stroke occurrs when when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds or when blood flow in the brain is cut off.


  • paralysis
  • numbness or weakness in the arm, face, and leg, especially on one side of the body
  • trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • confusion
  • slurring speech
  • vision problems, such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with
  • vision blackened or blurred, or double vision
  • trouble walking
  • loss of balance or coordination
  • dizziness
  • severe, sudden headache with an unknown cause

Kenya recorded 11,976 deaths caused by stroke translating to 4.6 per cent ranking the country at number 117 with a death rate of 66.90 per 100,000.

Coronary Heart Disease

This is a deadly disease mainly caused by a buildup of plaque in the coronary artery. This artery is responsible for transportation of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The disease has affected millions of Kenyans.

The common symptoms are Angina and chest pains. Others are Faster heartbeat,Nausea,Palpitations,Shortness of breath,Sweating, Weakness or dizziness

Kenya ranked at number 180 in the world with total deaths of 7,771 which makes a death rate of 44.20 per 100,000.

Road accidents

Road accident another aggressive killer that has cost the lives of many Kenyans. The star reported that Kenya recorded over 3,114 deaths in 2020. According to a data released by NTSA the fatality rate increases by 5.8.


This is a contagious disease that attacks the lungs but can also spread to other body parts like the brain and spine. It is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Signs and symptoms

  • A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

It is reported that nearly 120,000 people a year develop TB and causes over 18,600 deaths. It is fourth largest cause of deaths in the country and responsible for about 6 percent of all deaths.


This is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas is no longer able to make insulin, or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it produces.

There are three main types of diabetes – type 1, type 2 and gestational.

Type 1 diabetes can occur develop at any age, but most frequently in in children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults and accounts for around 90% of all diabetes cases. Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a type of diabetes that consists of high blood glucose during pregnancy and is associated with complications to both mother and child.

Kenya recorded 3,740 deaths caused by stroke translating to 1.33 per cent ranking the country at number 113 with a death rate of 19.98 per 100,000.


Smoking habit and the kind of lifestyle is one among the top killer diseases in country. associated with different types of cancer, damages the lungs, cause pregnancy complications and leads to stroke.

The Ministry of Health estimates that tobacco kills 30,000 Kenyans annually. The number has however drop from 14 per cent in 2005, 12.5 per cent in 2010, 11.2 per cent in 2015 and is expected to drop to 10.1 per cent in 2020.

Liver disease

Liver is responsible for turning nutrients into chemicals the body requires, filtering poisons and turning food into energy. Liver conditions can be caused by various factors which are; Infections include the Hepatitis A,B,C also Immune System Problems and inherited conditions.


  • Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine color
  • Pale stool color
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tendency to bruise easily

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Kenya ranks at number 62 with total deaths recorded at 5,214 making 1.85 percent with a death rate of 23.04 percent per 100,000 heads.

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