Amani Care – home care and home nursing for elderly people in Kenya
Kenya has significant need for home care for elderly people and training for carers
Increased wealth, improving living standards and a healthier population are causing people to live longer than before, which is affecting countries’ demographics, including countries with lower average incomes like Kenya. There is an increasing number of elderly people who need and can afford to pay for home care, but the health services they need are still scarcely available. There is very little available training for elder care workers and professional help for people caring for elderly family members at home in Kenya.
There are still many areas of Kenyan elder care training that are in need of development. Training for carers does not include elder care courses, and public practical nurse or geriatric nurse training focused on caring for elderly people is not available at all in the country. The need to train personnel to assist nurses or provide home care has not been recognised or standardised in Kenya’s public education system.
Amani Care – home care and home nursing for elderly people with the means to afford it in Kenya
Amanihoiva Kotihoito Oy has established a subsidiary named Amani Hoiva Kenya Ltd. that offers home care for the elderly with the purpose of improving elder care in Kenya. The company will be offering home care and home nursing services for elderly people who have the means to afford it under the Amani Care brand. The goal of the company is to offer customers care that meets Finnish and European standards.
Initially, business activities will be launched in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, but digitalisation will also allow them to be expanded to regions along the coast, the central highlands and the Maasai Mara area, where they will also serve elderly European people who spend part of the year in Kenya. The ability for doctors to provide remote guidance for carers and nurses on location will make services outside Nairobi more cost-effective.
Finnish elder care practices in Kenya
Amanihoiva’s CEO, Faisa Egge, explains that the training of the company’s first 50 employees will begin in early 2022. Some of the teachers will come from education institutions in Kokkola, Finland that train personnel for the social services and health care sectors. The Finnish teachers will bring with them many practices that are crucial in elder care and are still missing in Kenyan carer training. According to Egge, considerations like the patient’s right of self-determination are still foreign to the Kenyan care industry.
There are also plans to use the applicable parts of this training as a scalable pilot for public and private education institutions in Kenya that offer nursing training and, by doing so, to take part in developing elder care competence on a national scale. The concept of integrating Finnish elder care practices and training with official, authorised nursing training has already been the subject of preliminary conversations at the ministerial level.
Profitable business makes basic health care available to even the poorest
Health care inequality is a significant problem in Kenya. The shortcomings of the Kenyan public health care system are felt particularly by those living in extreme poverty who cannot afford to pay for their care.
In addition to promoting the health and wellbeing of elderly people, the project also has the mission of reducing health care inequality. “We also need to help the people who are most disadvantaged. Everyone has the right to live a healthy life. It can’t be a question of how much money you have,” Egge says. Once business operations are fully up and running, the company plans to offer basic health care services for free in vulnerable communities.
Finnpartnership’s support has been important
The CEO of Amanihoiva explains that Finnpartnership’s support has ensured the company’s ability to plan thoroughly, secure sufficient resources for the required preliminary assessments and find the right business partners.