NHIF National Hospital Insurance Fund

The project aims to be a new act of charity for the community of the Karungu division, in particular for the most needy families and pregnant women, guaranteeing them the fundamental right to health.

Hospital insurance for needy families and pregnant women

The NHIF (National Hospital Insurance Fund) has been established a few years ago within the national health plan of the Government of Kenya, with a view to offering the greatest number of people the right to health. In addition, the project is part of the government’s intention to hospitalize health care, increasing the number of those who turn to hospital facilities and competent doctors, especially for special cases such as childbirth. Many women, in fact, still choose to give birth to their children at home.

Hospital insurance applies to the whole family: spouses and all children up to the age of 18. For special needs dependents there are no age limits, while for students the card is valid until the end of the studies. Orphan children can also benefit from this, provided that those who take out the insurance show that they are officially cared for.

The policy covers the daily subsistence allowance, but also the necessary medical and surgical treatment.

50 € / per year to assure the health insurance to a family

With a contribution of 5,000 Kshs (about 50 €) per year, each household can access, free of charge, health facilities chosen and subjected to frequent checks by a special commission that assesses the quality of equipment and staff preparation, to ensure the standard.

Only those who pass such checks are covered by the insurance agreement, and among them is the St. Camillus Mission Hospital di Karungu.

The SCMH also proposes itself as an intermediary between the population and the local headquarters of the NHIF located in Migori, the district to which Karungu belongs. Once a week, in fact, those who want to take out insurance can contact the hospital where prepared staff fill out the necessary forms, check the required documents and take a photo to all individual family members, indispensable to complete the practice. The instalments of the policy that will be paid to the headquarters of Migori are then collected. All this is possible thanks to the trust born from a collaboration that lasts over time, and offers itself as an additional service to the population.

For those who are sick, have a child with chronic problems or a large family, the need to resort to the hospital is frequent but painful: the economic factor is decisive.

In a situation such as Karungu, where HIV/AIDS is rampant, the need is becoming even more present. At the same time, St. Camillus Mission Hospital is located in one of the poorest areas of the country, and there are very few people who have the opportunity to pay the hospital fees and the necessary medical care.

Of course, the Camillian hospital never refuses its services, but the destitution of its patients and the numerous cases of unpaid hospitalization puts in serious difficulty the economic subsistence of the missionary structure.

Hospital Insurance therefore, brings a twofold benefit: it offers families the possibility of access to quality medical care and the SCMH to support and continue its work of charity.

The hospital, in recent years, has begun to finance some particularly needy families, with an eye on pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic and who, if HIV positive, are included in PMTCT programme (Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS). For these women, in fact, the St. Camillus Mission Hospital offers to pay the first six months of the insurance, in order to cover the necessary medical care during the pregnancy, the expenses for the birth in hospital and the first months of life of the unborn child, which are usually the most delicate.

Obviously, the insurance includes the whole family, so any other children of the pregnant woman. At the end of the first semester, during which the patient is explained the importance of access to adequate medical care, it is up to the woman to decide whether or not to continue to use the NHIF, this time at her own expense.

The SCMH aims to sponsor 985 households in the community of Karungu, thus increasing the number of those who can access the facility.

Read more: NHIF 2012 project