Social Dimensions of Inequalities in East Africa

Access to medical insurance in East Africa by wealth status

Rwanda is the region’s champion in terms of both providing health insurance to its population and doing so in the most equitable way. Seventy per cent of men and 77 per cent of women in Rwanda’s wealthiest quintile are covered while 54 per cent of men and 60 per cent of women in the poorest quintile enjoy health insurance.

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In Burundi, while 22 per cent of men and 26 per cent of women in the wealthiest quintile have health insurance, just 5 per cent of both men and women in the poorest quintile were covered.

In Tanzania, 16 per cent of both men and women in the wealthiest quintile have health insurance compared to just 1 per cent of men and women in the poorest quintile.

Health insurance coverage in Uganda is the lowest in East Africa, where just 5 per cent of the men and 4 per cent of women in the wealthiest quintile had it. Just 1 per cent of men and 0.2 per cent of women in Uganda’s poorest quintile are covered.

Health insurance coverage in Kenya was also enjoyed by a few, given that only 7 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men age 15-49 were covered.

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