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Paediatrician in Kenya

paediatrician is a specialist doctor focusing on managing the health of infants, children, and adolescents. The responsibility is broad, from wellness to diagnosing and treating childhood and adolescent diseases. In Kenya, paediatric care starts from birth and ends on the 12th birthday. However, some facilities see adolescents up to the age of 15 years. A paediatrician may practice as a general paediatric specialist or subspecialize in one or more areas. Just like physicians and family physicians, paediatricians do not perform surgeries. 

What are a paediatrician’s duties and responsibilities in caring for your child?

The duties and responsibilities of a paediatrician include but are not limited to the following:

  • Examination, diagnosis, and treatment of all childhood illnesses.
  • Carrying out routine health and wellness examinations (commonly known as well-baby or well-child visits).
  • Monitoring your child’s physical, emotional, and social growth.
  • Recommending and administering vaccinations.
  • Addressing parents’ health concerns about the children’s health and responding to their inquiries.
  • Providing health education and other recommendations to parents.
  • Making referrals to other specialists when necessary.

What are the Education and Training Requirements for Paediatricians?

After completing a bachelor’s degree in medicine and getting registered as a Medical Officer (General Practitioner), one must enroll for a Master of Medicine (MMED) to specialize in Paediatrics and Child Health at a recognized university. This training takes a minimum of 3 years. Upon graduating, the doctor must work for two years to be recognized as a paediatrics and child health specialist.

Paediatrics and Child Health Subspecialties 

Paediatricians can choose one or more of the 14 subspecialties recognized by the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Council (KMPDC). A paediatrician must enroll for sub-specialty training, which takes at least six months to complete. To be recognized as a paediatric subspecialist, one must have 1-year experience. With each focusing on a specific child health area, pediatric subspecialties are: 

  • Cardiology -Specializes in diseases and conditions of the heart and blood vessels. This subspecialist is called a paediatric cardiologist.
  • Dermatology – Specializes in diseases and conditions of the skin. This subspecialist is called a paediatric dermatologist.
  • Developmental Paediatrics– They specialize in evaluating, treating, and continuously evaluating children who experience challenging disparities in their developmental, educational, or behavioural domains. This subspecialist is called a developmental paediatrician.
  • Endocrinology– Specializes in endocrine system diseases, including diabetes. This specialist is called a paediatric endocrinologist.
  • Gastroenterology– Specializes in the diseases and problems of the digestive system, liver, and nutrition issues. This subspecialist is called a paediatric gastroenterologist.
  • Haemato-oncology– Specializes in diseases and disorders of blood and cancers. This subspecialist is called a paediatric haematologist/oncologist.
  • Tropical Paediatrics–Specializes in managing and preventing high-burden diseases in low-income settings, such as malaria, tuberculosis, measles, and others in children. This subspecialist is called a tropical paediatrician.
  • Pulmonology – Specializes in chest and respiratory system diseases. This subspecialist is called a paediatric pulmonologist.
  • Neonatology – Specializes in the management of sick neonates and the ones born prematurely. This subspecialist is called a neonatologist
  • Nephrology– Specializes in the diseases of the kidneys and the urinary tract. This subspecialist is called a paediatric nephrologist.
  • Critical Care– Work in a hospital set up to manage children needing intensive care. These subspecialists are called paediatric critical care specialists.
  • Neurology – Specializes in the diseases of the nervous system. This subspecialist is called a paediatric neurologist.
  • Infectious Diseases – Specializes in infectious diseases. This subspecialist is called a paediatric infectious diseases specialist.
  • Rheumatology – Specializes in diseases and conditions of joints, muscles, and bones, including inflammatory and autoimmune ones. This subspecialist is called a paediatric rheumatologist

When should I take my child to see a Paediatrician?

It is recommended that your baby’s initial paediatrician appointment take place between 48 to 72 hours after being discharged from the hospital. The second visit should occur when the baby is two to four weeks old. Throughout the first year, regular visits to the paediatrician are advised at two, four, six, nine, and 12 months of age. Following the first birthday, appointments should be scheduled at 15, 18, and 24 months. Subsequently, annual check-ups with the paediatrician are suggested. Additionally, appointments can be arranged whenever there are health concerns or if the child is unwell.

Where can I Find a Paediatrician?

You can find paediatricians in private specialist clinics owned by doctors and licensed by the Kenya Medical and Dentist Council (KMPDC). You can also find them in private, mission, and Public hospitals where they practice as visiting or resident specialists. Search the paediatrician near you by clicking here.


The role played by paediatricians in the Kenyan health system cannot be overemphasized. While they diagnose and treat childhood diseases, their role extends to the child’s holistic well-being. Therefore, do not wait for your child to get sick to visit a paediatrician. Like all other doctors and healthcare professionals, paediatricians work closely with other teams to achieve better patient outcomes. 

Related Specialists

A paediatrician is related to a family physician, physician (internist) and a paediatric surgeon.

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