Perceptions of primary health care with regard to corresponding knowledge, attitude and practices amongst the Kenyan Maasai

East Afr Med J. 2005 Jan;82(1):24-7. doi: 10.4314/eamj.v82i1.9290.


Objectives: In order to introduce a comprehensive intervention system to improve health, there is need to establish a profile of the Maasais' current knowledge, attitude and practices of predisposing environmental, cultural and other factors which may lead to considerable health risks.

Design: A descriptive retrospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: Oletepesi and Elangata Wuas of Kajiando District.

Subjects: Maasai community in Oletepesi and Elangata Wuas regions of Kajiado District of Kenya over a period of two years.

Results: Previous awareness to primary health care and knowledge has been through education and training by AMREF Nomadic Health Unit. Factors such as limited availability of water, health care delivery and dry arid environment with poor infrastructure as well as some persistent harmful cultural practices predispose the Maasai community to common health problems in children and adults.

Conclusion: With community participation, there is need for an integrated approach to these health risks. The Ministry of Health together with AMREF have incorporated a comprehensive intervention system to address the commonly occurring diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia and address adults and children problems differently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Attitude to Health / ethnology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kenya
  • Life Style
  • Medicine, African Traditional*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration
  • Qualitative Research
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Care / adverse effects
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Care / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Extraction / psychology
  • Transients and Migrants* / education
  • Transients and Migrants* / psychology