The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) has accredited 185 health facilities to enhance universal health coverage in Kilifi County.
This comes following a tremendous growth of membership from the previous 2,484 members in the year 2000 when NHIF was established in the County to the current 148, 556 members.
The NHIF Kilifi Branch Manager, Omar Mwatabu said when the average family set up of 5 members per family is considered; the insurance fund is covering a population of 742,780 people in the County.Both private and government have been included in the roll of accredited health facilities.
He said NHIF has opened four branch offices in Mariakani, Mtwapa, Malindi and Kilifi with staff from the branches making field visits to sensitize the people to enroll with the fund.
“The larger population of this County is poor and therefore raising the sh.500 per month to be covered by NHIF has been a challenge,” he said.
Speaking during the coordination and implementation of national government development programmes committee meeting at the County commissioner’s Boardroom, Mwatabu said NHIF has also been managing the Linda Mama programme which is a sponsorship by the government to assist expectant mothers who are not members of NHIF.
He said through the sponsorship, 59,553 mothers in the County have received free services before and after delivering in the various governments health facilities.
Mwatabu expressed concern that the larger population lives in the rural areas where they can seek medication in government facilities, but they fail to get the basic medical services like drugs which are not available forcing them to seek services in private facilities even if they are NHIF members.
“Some people in the remote parts of the County resort to traditional medicine and therefore do not see the need to have a cover to access services in health institutions”, he said.
He called upon the County government and the political leadership in the area to embrace NHIF in terms of sponsoring the needy families in the remote parts of the County, especially Ganze and Magarini Sub Counties.
By Harrison Yeri