Why KDF Officers Are Not Treated in Public Hospitals

4th President Uhuru Kenyatta commissions Officer Cadets’, Specialists and Special Duty Officer Cadets at Kenya Military Academy in Nakuru County on Friday, 26 November 2021

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta invested heavily in uplifting the military, from upgrading weapons to constructing state-of-the-art hospitals

His administration built the level 4 Isiolo Regional Hospital with a 105-bed capacity, the Kenya National Research and Referral Hospital (KNRRH) at the Kabete Army Barracks, a Level 4 hospital in Kahawa and the level 6 hospital off Waiyaki Way in Nairobi.

"This is a milestone in ensuring that soldiers who put their lives in line and in danger to protect fellow citizens are assured of the best possible medical care that can possibly be given," Uhuru stated. 

Here's why KDF has its own facilities for treating injured soldiers. 

KDF officers perform a drill in a past training exercise
KDF officers perform a drill in a past training exercise

National Security

KDF soldiers, unlike other disciplined forces, usually undertake critical national security functions. This requires a healthy distance to be maintained between them and the public. 

Auditing of KDF and its facilities has always been a contentious subject, with a section of security experts arguing that audits expose confidential information. 

Treating the soldiers in private also protects the force's reputation and prevents leakages of confidential information. 

The Enemy's Target                                              

According to security experts, treating a soldier in a public hospital may expose them to enemies.

 Most hospitals do not have foolproof security to warrant the admission of a military officer.  


There is a need for privacy in handling injuries and aftercare of soldiers. This cannot be guaranteed when they are receiving treatment in public hospitals.

Occupational risk management

Most soldiers spend their time in a war zone. Security professionals estimated that nearly 35,000 Kenyan soldiers were deployed to Somalia under AMISOM.

The health issues they risk suffering include mental trauma, which must be keenly monitored. 


Military hospitals offer a good cover for the country and soldiers. In preparation for war, the military can stock essential medical supplies without raising suspicion. Soldiers can also be treated confidentially without enemies knowing the extent of casualties

The Kenyan government has invested in providing sufficient health coverage for KDF officers. 

A file image of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers during a pass-out parade.
A file image of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers during a pass-out parade.
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