Evolution of family medicine in Kenya (1990s to date): a case study
Background: Successful Family Medicine practices and academic programmes are found in western countries, Australia, Singapore, Cuba and among other non-western countries. Documenting the enablers and challenges of different contexts would, it is hoped, inform current and future process of developing academic and practice programmes in Family Medicine in countries where the discipline is starting.
Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken that conducted a focused literature review and in-depth interviews of key informants on the early development of the Family Medicine in Kenya. All interviews were audio recorded. Pattern matching, explanation building, time-series analysis and logic models were used in analysis.
Results: Representatives of Kenyan and foreign organisations worked well as a team to write and implement the first curriculum of Family Medicine. The challenges include lack of teachers; starting a graduate programme in medical schools that did not have one and starting these health services delivery departments in a system that did not have any.
Conclusions: The main enablers of the evolution of Family Medicine in Kenya include committed partnerships and teamwork among Kenyan and non-Kenyan stakeholders. The challenges include the lack of Kenyan teachers of the programme and the introduction of a new discipline.
Keywords: academic programmes, challenges, enablers, Family Medicine evolution, Kenya