The Relationship between Policy Availability and Capacity Levels for Disaster Preparedness in Hospitals within Nairobi County.
Simiyu, Cynthia Nekesa
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Increased disaster cases coupled with the fact that Nairobi County joined the World Disaster Reduction Campaign among which one of the themes was 'Hospitals safe from disasters', made it important that disaster preparedness in hospitals within Nairobi County be examined. No studies have been done regarding disaster preparedness in hospitals within Nairobi County, making this study a key resource for evidence-based decision making, especially in resource needs prioritization. The broad objective of this study was to determine the relationship between policy availability and capacity levels for disaster preparedness in hospitals within Nairobi County. The specific objective was to determine the relationship between availability of policies and level of capacities in hospitals within Nairobi County. This was a descriptive cross sectional study. The study setting was in Nairobi County, Kenya. A total of 32 hospitals and 263 respondents were sampled. Research instruments used comprised questionnaires and key informant interviews. Quantitative and qualitative data was obtained. Quantitative data was of use in determining the statistical significance of the study. Qualitative data aimed at obtaining in depth information regarding challenges and recommendations to hospital disaster preparedness on the basis of how policy availability and capacity levels relate. Study results revealed that there were problems related to staffing, hospital equipment, hospital infrastructure, policies, training and drills. In conclusion, a positive relationship existed between policy availability and capacity levels with capacities being dependent on policies. Policy availability was established to be dependent on the finance and stewardship health system pillars. This study recommends that for maximization of health resources towards disaster preparedness in hospitals within Nairobi County, policy formulation and implementation should be prioritized with emphasis on funding and good stewardship. This will result in a strengthened health system with institutional capacities in place.