Document Type: Original Article
College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
School of Health Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya
Introduction: The geographical movement of people from one area to another poses the threat of transmission of infectious diseases. Kenya is among the vulnerable countries when it comes to disease transmission, because it is a major transport hub in East Africa, yet data on the availability and uptake of pre-travel health services is limited.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted to determine the uptake of pre-travel health services. The systematic sampling method was used to obtain a sample size of 384 travelers among those in the waiting lounge prior to departure; four key informants were chosen purposively. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection. The results of data analysis are presented in the form of tables, graphs, charts, and text.
Results: The majority of respondents (70.6%) knew of at least one health service offered to international travelers in Kenya. The most sought-after pre-travel health service was vaccination (70.97%), but very few (13.93%) travelers sought pre-travel health advice on how to stay healthy while abroad. The majority of travelers were positive about pre-travel health services. The Port Health Department focuses more on the health of international arrivals as opposed to departures; there are no functional travel health clinics.
Conclusion: The results indicated that the government pays little attention to departing international travelers. Therefore, it is important for the government to develop policies, guidelines, and structures that will ensure that pre-travel health services are received by travelers prior to departure. Travel clinics need to be set up to increase the uptake of pre-travel health services. Moreover, further research should be conducted.