Diabetic patients may soon bear medication costs

Diabetic patients will soon be forced to cost share in the funding of their medication following the phasing out of a programme that has been funding free treatment.

Head of Division of non-communicable diseases in the Ministry of Health, Dr Kibachio Mwangi said after the phasing out of the programme next year, the government will only provide free insulin to children as well as subsidized insulin for adults.

He said patients will be expected to bear the cost of needles as well as the periodical testing kits (HD-16), all which were financed by the government and other health partners.

The programme that oversaw reduction in the cost of insulin was funded by Novo Nordisk, Ministry of Health and the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information centre (DMI).

The partners have been influential in the reduction of the cost of insulin to about Sh200 in public health facilities. The drug has been free to children. We hope to get new partners to help in funding the programme, he said, during the World Diabetes day celebrations held in Embu town Wednesday.

He said some patients will find it difficult to buy the needles and testing kits and thus called on County Health departments to set funds aside for the cause.

Embu County health department committed to the cause with County Health Executive Dr. Jamleck Muturi saying funds will be set aside in 2018’s budget .He said they will also enhance door-to-door screening of diabetes and hypertension.

About 14,000 people in the county were seeking outpatient treatment, an increase from 3,000 who had such problems in 2013.These are worrying statistics caused by late screening. We will enhance screening of diabetes and hypertension in the county and sensitize residents on healthy living, said Dr. Muturi.

County Woman Rep Jane Wanjuki said she would lobby the national government to provide free medication for diabetes and will also use part of her kitty to boost healthy living among residents.

Source: Kenya News Agency