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Take NHIF seriously, Kenyans urged

06 June 2013, 12:27 Kelvin Wanjohi

Kenyans have been urged to take the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) more seriously as the government embarks on a mission to ensure quality health care for all, taking Governors and County leaders to task to mobilise mothers to seek guidance from professionals since many of them are at risk for seeking medication and treatment from quacks in the villages.

Kenyatta National Hospital Corporate affairs and communications manager Simon Ithai urged people to take advantage of the government’s directive on waiving maternity fees for all pregnant mothers, and invest in their own health and post-natal needs of their children.

KNH Corporate affairs and communications manager S

Ithai said that despite the government paying for the maternity fees, they should put more emphasis on the insurance fund which will assist them take care of their alternative health needs when they require it most.

He said that health should be taken as someone’s own responsibility, and hence the need to take it with utmost importance and add more input towards the fund, now that the government has remove of some health expenses.

“Some people forget there is life ahead after giving birth that will need careful planning. NHIF will cater for you and your loved one’s health and you should not fail to apply or input towards it,” he said.

He warned that most children are prone to illness before they reach 5 years of age saying it is always safe for one to know that someone else will take care of them when need arises.

“There is nothing much painful as watching your child die just because you did not take precautions and proper health concerns for them, and the better option is to sign up with the insurance fund,” he added, noting that it is also important for mothers to undergo prenatal care for their own welfare.

He also admitted that there has been a high mortality rate among children below 5 years, premature births and some are recorded as live deaths due to ignorance of mothers who fail to attend clinical examination for proper scanning of the baby's health.

"Some of the deaths do not arise even at the delivery stage, and it’s not entirely the sake of maternity department, it is due to some associated health issues that accompany them. It might be that the child was born with heart complications, or breathing complications which is definitely referred to another hospital department," he observed.

He said that unnecessary deaths could be avoided if the necessary pre-birth measures are undertaken, including checking the mother’s condition such as whether she has the correct blood pressure, is hypertensive and checking on the foetus position.

“Right now, since the implementation of the free maternity care, mothers should only be striving to reach the health centres and should not be worried about the fees. In fact, we had to explain to some of them the announcement made by the president because they wanted to pay as usual,” he said.

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