Kenyan Deaths Are Far Lower than the Rest of the World
Officially, less than 2% of the 56,000 people who have tested positive for coronavirus have died.
Possible Reasons for Kenya’s Low Death & Infection Rates
- Face masks were embraced by the population
As soon as the government announced the requirement to wear face masks, it was embraced by the population immediately. Indeed, it is rare to find a Kenyan not wearing a mask
- Strict lockdown eliminated city to country visits
The strict lockdowns stopped Kenyans from going up-country and visiting their relatives and even crossing the city.
- Kenyans’ youthfulness is likely a major factor
The mean age in Kenya is 19 years. So far, coronavirus has predominantly affected cities in Kenya and its cities are overwhelmingly a young demographic whose tolerance of the disease is higher
- Older Kenyans are geographically isolated from cities
Only 2% of Kenyans are 60 or older. Most are in rural areas. Keeping older people apart from their younger relatives could well have protected them from infection.
- Other medications and vaccines may have worked in Kenyan’s favor
It is possible that antivirals taken for HIV provide a broadly protective effect. Around 2% of the population are on antiviral HIV medication. It is also possible that the Calmette-Guerin tuberculosis vaccine and oral polio vaccines (given at birth) could be protective, but this is only speculation that needs to be substantiated through research.
Regardless and whilst Kenya is still in the midst of the pandemic, it has so far avoided overwhelming its health system. With lower rates of infections and deaths which are a hallmark of its pandemic journey the country is not taking anything for granted. The country is opening up slowly under the governance of well-constructed plans.