Top 10 killer diseases in Kenya

The most recent World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2018 ranks Kenya at 132 in regards to life expectancy placing Males at 64.4, females at 68.9 and a total life expectancy of 66.7.

According to the data, the leading cause of mortality in Kenya included diarrhoea diseases, HIV/AIDs, lower respiratory infections, tuberculosis, ischemic heart disease, road injuries and interpersonal violence.

Below is a list of top 10 killer diseases in the country according to WHO.

Diarrheal diseases

Diarrhoea is usually caused by a virus, or sometimes, contaminated food.

Less frequently, it can be a sign of another disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Symptoms include frequent, loose, watery stools and stomach pain.

Influenza and pneumonia

Influenza is a common cause of pneumonia, especially among younger children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with certain chronic health conditions or who live in a nursing home.

Most cases of flu never lead to pneumonia, but those that do tend to be more severe and deadly

The virus invades your lungs and causes them to swell, blocking your flow of oxygen.


HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.

It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex, or through sharing injection drug equipment.

If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).


A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, preventing brain tissue from getting oxygen and nutrients.

A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is crucial as early action can reduce brain damage and other complications.

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Coronary heart disease (CHD), or coronary artery disease, develops when the coronary arteries become too narrow.

The coronary arteries are the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart.

CHD tends to develop when cholesterol builds up on the artery walls, creating plaques.

Road traffic accidents

Road traffic accidents deaths are recorded at 14,032 or 4.98 percent of total deaths with a death rate of 39.22 per 100,000 of population ranking Kenya at position 16 in the world.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs.

The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

Most people infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis don’t have symptoms, however, when symptoms occur, they usually include a cough (sometimes blood-tinged), weight loss, night sweats and fever.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the gland cells of the prostate, which is found only in males.

Symptoms include frequent urination, weak or interrupted urine flow or the need to strain to empty the bladder, the urge to urinate frequently at night, blood in the urine, new onset of erectile dysfunction and pain or burning during urination.


Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite which spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms include chills, fever and sweating, usually occurring a few weeks after being bitten.

Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cervix.

The cervix is a hollow cylinder that connects the lower part of a woman’s uterus to her vagina.

Most cervical cancers begin in cells on the surface of the cervix.

Early symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as after intercourse, between menstrual periods, or after menopause, pain during intercourse, vaginal discharge and odor and pelvic pain.

Facebook Comments

Show More

Kevin Koech

Kevin Koech is a Kenyan blogger writing on governance, fraud, politics, social media and celebrity gossip with over three years of experience in digital content creation with an incline in editing
Back to top button