Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Special Report

Major Incidents in Kenya: the Case for Emergency Services Development and Training

Benjamin W. Wachiraa1 c1 and Wayne Smitha2

a1 Accident and Emergency Department, Aga Khan University Hospital – Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

a2 Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


Kenya's major incidents profile is dominated by droughts, floods, fires, terrorism, poisoning, collapsed buildings, accidents in the transport sector and disease/epidemics. With no integrated emergency services and a lack of resources, many incidents in Kenya escalate to such an extent that they become major incidents. Lack of specific training of emergency services personnel to respond to major incidents, poor coordination of major incident management activities, and a lack of standard operational procedures and emergency operation plans have all been shown to expose victims to increased morbidity and mortality.

This report provides a review of some of the major incidents in Kenya for the period 2000-2012, with the hope of highlighting the importance of developing an integrated and well-trained Ambulance and Fire and Rescue service appropriate for the local health care system.

B Wachira, W Smith. Major incidents in Kenya: the case for emergency services development and training. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):1-4 .

(Received June 09 2012)

(Accepted August 25 2012)

(Revised September 14 2012)

(Online publication February 06 2013)


  • disasters;
  • Emergency Medical Services;
  • EMS;
  • firefighters;
  • emergency medicine


  • EMS:Emergency Medical Services;
  • KRCS:Kenya Red Cross Society


c1 Correspondence: Benjamin W. Wachira, MBChB, Dip PEC, MMed EM, FCEM Aga Khan University Hospital – Nairobi Accident and Emergency Department PO Box 30270 Nairobi 00100, Kenya E-mail


  Conflicts of interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.