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Register For NHIF To Avoid Being In Precarious Position In Cases Of Accidents Or Sickness, Advises Thika Trader.

Elizabeth Wanza, a resident of Thika as she was recuperating at Naidu Hospital following an accident caused by an attack by thugs as she was heading home from work.
A Thika businessman has sensitised residents to enlist themselves for The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) in order to benefit for numerous health services and benefits whenever they fell sick or were in an emergency health situation.  

Johnstone Mulei, the proprietor of Vinepack Limited, a medium-scale alcoholic beverage company in Thika said NHIF membership would assist them benefit from both outpatient and in-patient medical covers that included general consultations with doctors, laboratory tests, drugs, x-ray and ultrasound diagnosis among others without having to seek for financial aid to raise money for medical bills. 

Mulei was speaking to the press after clearing a medical bill of over sh. 300,000 for Elizabeth Wanza, a middle-aged woman who lives in Gachagi Slums, Thika West Sub-County.

Wanza broke her leg after being accosted by about three men at night as she was heading home from work.

“I was walking home from my workplace in Makongeni (Estate) at around 11pm. As I was about to step into our residential plot, three men emerged from the dark and started chasing me. Unfortunately, I fell in a ditch and broke my left leg. They ran away when I screamed for help and neighbours came to my rescue,” said Wanza.

Wanza, who is a mother of three was then forced to stay in the house for about a month without any medical attention as this incident happened during the period when doctors in public hospitals were on strike.

“We were unable to raise the amount of money that was being demanded by the private hospitals forcing me to stay in the house unattended for almost a month,” she explained.

It was after witnessing her suffering that the neighbours liaised with the area assistant chief Mr. Josephat Waithaka who requested Mulei to assist Wanza get medical attention.

“When this case was brought to our attention, we immediately rushed her to Naidu Hospital where the management agreed to subsidise her medical bill. She was well looked after for the period she was admitted and she is now recuperating well at home after being discharged,” said Mulei.

Mulei has promised to assimilate her in the company once she recovers fully so as to ensure she is able to cater for her children.

Wanza, who is originally from Ekalakala, Matuu Machakos County is an orphan and has been fending her family by working as a waitress in a local club. She a mother of two girls aged 13 and 11 and a boy (7). Their education are currently being catered for by a local church pending the mother’s recovery.

A recent review of health financing data in Kenya indicated that majority of the people in the informal sector are largely bypassed by the benefits of Kenya’s public health insurance system. Informal sector workers constituted only 39% of the 5.2 million workers who were contributing members of NHIF in 2015, despite constituting four fifths or 83% of all the 15.2 million workers in the country.

People without medical insurance find themselves in a precarious position when they or a family member fall ill. A 2013 survey showed that that 6.2% of all households were pushed into poverty after meeting healthcare costs from their pockets. It is good to note also that the out of pocket expenditure underestimates the amount of money needed to obtain medical care because it never includes the times when treatment is needed but foregone.

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