Laikipia County has 52 percent of its population under NHIF cover

The total number of people registered under National hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in Laikipia County as of August 2018 are 272, 924 against the total population of 514,924.

County Governor Ndiritu Muriithi has said that the achieved NHIF coverage translates to 52 percent of the total population.

The Governor was speaking to the press Friday evening, after a daylong meeting with the African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Githinji Gitahi, and NHIF Deputy Director in charge of operation Gibson Muhuhu and top County department of health and Information Technology (ICT) at the Mount Kenya Safari club, Nanyuki

The meeting we had was to take stock of what we have done in registration of our population on NHIF program and to make more plans to attain universal health coverage in the County, he noted.

Muriithi added that the County health workers in conjunction with volunteer community health workers supported by AMREF would optimize the operation to have the 48 percent remaining population register under NHIF cover.

He said the 331 Community Health Workers were of great assistance and through them, a total of 30, 000 households have been enrolled on the NHIF cover program.

My Government through the department of health is on gear to recruit and train 550 Community Health Workers and 55 Community Assistants to cover 200 households each, as we make efforts in attaining 100 percent universal Health Coverage, Muriithi pointed out.

Already, data for 90 percent households have been collected, and the County can now target specific households for a graduated subsidy scheme, he added.

Muriithi said his government has made great improvement in the infrastructure and quality of service in the 44 NHIF accredited health facilities in the area.

AMREF CEO said the involvement of Community Health Workers (CHWs) in NHIF recruitment program has proved to be of great success in Laikipia County.

Dr. Gitahi added that CHWs was in a better position in addressing the uptake of NHIF which was partly blamed on lack of understanding of benefits of health Insurance scheme communication challenges and lack of trust amongst others.

He noted the CHWs remained critical in this program due to the trust the community place in them and could overcome the language and knowledge barrier which is important if NHIF cover was to reach the most vulnerable population.

AMREF’s pilot project on involvement of CHWs on NHIF recruitment has played a great role in health Insurance coverage.

The NHIF Deputy Director operations said Laikipia County was among counties which had enrolled more than 50 percent of their population under the NHIF cover program.

He noted in the last 10 months, 10, 000 people had identified Nanyuki Training and Referral Hospital as the Hospital of their choice on the NHIF cover program and the total has gone up to 27, 000.

Universal health coverage is one of the National and Laikipia County governments big four agendas and focuses on putting the whole population on a health care insurance.

The initiative aims at reducing the expenditure burden that majority of Kenyans incur while seeking health services where the poor households were at times unable to meet their health expenses.

Source: Kenya News Agency