Infrastructural and Knowledge Barriers to Accessing Acute Stroke Care at a Regional Tertiary Facility in Kenya

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa); Brain and Mind Institute


The delivery of definitive acute stroke care in Africa remains low due to prehospital barriers, and these are known to be country-specific. There have been no studies on elucidating these barriers in Kenya.

Objectives: We sought to identify the nature of barriers to acute stroke care for patients presenting to our hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a prospective cross-sectional study a tour tertiary regional referral center from August 2018 to March 2019 for patients presenting with an acute stroke. We consented participants (patients or their registered next-of-kin) to fill out a questionnaire on their journey from stroke-onset to the ward bed, and about their knowledge about stroke.

Results:We recruited 103 participants. Only 25.2% arrived to hospital within 3.5 h (early arrival) of stroke onset. The significant factors causing delay were: distance from hospital, traffic, visiting another hospital first, and lack of transport vehicle. Factors significantly associated (P

Conclusions: We identified a number of prehospital barriers to reaching hospital on time for definitive stroke treatment, which have implications on the structure of emergency services for stroke in our city. Our study also revealed interesting observations on the public’s understanding about stroke, calling for a tailored public awareness campaign to improve stroke knowledge.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Stroke Medicine