Catholic Health Department of Kenya (CHDK)


The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops – Catholic Health Commission of Kenya (CHCK) was established in the year 1957. It has undergone several changes of name due to the changing demands and changes in Kenya’s health sector. From its establishment to the late nineties, it was known as the Medical Department. In the 1990s the Family Life Department and the Medical Department were merged to form the Commission for Health and Family Life to help the many bioethical issues facing the family and human life.

In 2006 the conference once again annexed the Family Life Department to allow the Commission to concentrate fully on the increasingly complex health sector leaving the name at its current – Catholic Health Commission of Kenya.


The core mandate of the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya involves the following;

  • Facilitate national coordination of the management of Catholic Health facilities; ranging from tertiary level 6 hospitals, health centres and maternity centres and dispensaries, medical training colleges offering training in nursing, clinical medicine and pharmacy..
  • Provide leadership on emerging health challenges
  • Facilitate collaboration, representation, lobbying and advocacy of Government agencies for equitable resource mobilization and distribution
  • Spearhead conceptualization, formulation and implementation of initiatives for enhancing services at Catholic health institutions
  • Advisory body to the KCCB on health issues
  • Responsible for developing and sustaining a strong network of managers of Catholic health institutions
  • Represent the KCCB and its health service delivery network in national forums (consultations and policy development)
  • Link between Catholic health network and MoH
  • Coordinate the Catholic institutions offering medical training to ensure harmonization of standards
  • Collect, collate and disseminate timely information on the activities of service providers to various stakeholders
  • Facilitate the workings of the major projects of the KCCB such as Mission for Essential Drugs and Supplies (MEDS) and St. Luke’s School of Nursing North Kinangop
  • Facilitate registration and licensing of health facilities and health service providers
  • Link between relevant professionals Associations of the Laity with KCCB (KCDA and CNAK)

Through the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, the Catholic Church runs close to 30% of all healthcare facilities in Kenya. The Church has an expansive network that consists of 451 health units (69 hospitals, 117 health centers, 14 Medical Training Colleges and 251 Dispensaries) and more than 46 Community Based Health and Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Programs. In the Arid and Semi-Arid Areas, the Church has and manages mobile clinics for nomadic communities; these are difficult to reach areas that other organizations, including the Government, are not able to provide health services.



The commission is currently composed of the Bishop Chairman- Rt. Rev. Joseph Mbaatia who heads the commission, his Vice Bishop Chairman- Rt. Rev. Joseph Obanyi, the National Executive Secretary- Jacinta Mutegi and 14 project staff personnel.



The Base of the Pyramid programme funded by Novo Nordisk works to improve access to diabetes care for the working poor at the base of the economic pyramid. Project implementation started in January 2012. The key pillars include:

  1. Increased awareness of diabetes
  2. Early diagnosis of diabetes
  3. Access to quality care by trained health care professionals.
  4. Stable and affordable insulin supply
  5. Improved self-management through patient education

The major achievements of the project so far include:

  1. Nearly 300 facilities provide Insulin consistently
  2. 46 Patient Support Groups have been established
  3. More than 1100 Health Care Professionals have received training on management of diabetes
  4. The Price of Insulin has been reduced by 75%.



KCCB through CHCK is implementing this project as a sub-recipient of AMREF Kenya. This project aims to accelerate the reduction of TB, leprosy and lung disease burden through provision of people-centered, universally accessible, acceptable and affordable quality services in Kenya. The project covers five counties namely Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Embu, Tharaka and Meru and is implemented at sub county level.


This project aims to promote awareness, screening and ultimately treatment of Hypertension in the targeted areas. This project is currently being implemented in 102 catholic facilities across the country.

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