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NMS to enroll 20,000 poor households into NHIF

Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is set to enroll at least 20, 000 vulnerable families in Nairobi under the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) medical cover.

The programme, which will be carried out through the universal healthcare (UHC) programme, will begin next month with each household getting Sh6,000 per year for the insurance cover.

NMS Director General Major General Mohammed Badi said the new development is aimed at allowing vulnerable Nairobi residents sustain their health financing by having the NHIF cards.

“In order to allow Nairobi sustain health financing, NMS will sponsor through NHIF and UHC program 20, 000 vulnerable families to have NHIF cards. We are currently in discussion with the social security department to ensure than only the most vulnerable families are picked. The process starts in January,” said Mr Badi.

NMS Health Services Director Dr Josephine Kibaru-Mbae said the target of the programme is to cover 20 percent of Nairobi’s poor households in the first phase using a tool developed by Ministry of Health to identify those to be covered.

According to the 2019 census, Nairobi County has 1.5 million households making up the 4.3 million population although the exact number of poor households is not available.

Already, NMS together with local leaders and the social protection department have begun the process of identifying those to benefit in the initial phase.

“We are informed that NHIF already has a budget to cover the number which will be identified. For us now is to make sure that by January, we have the people who will be covered. Each household will be given Sh6,000 per year,” said Dr Kibaru-Mbae.

At the same time, NMS received a donation of five ventilators from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for use in Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

The county referral hospital hosts a 50-bed Covid-19 treatment center that was recently completed and fully equipped by NMS.

“These ventilators are meant for the set-up and operationalisation of a 10 bed ICU at Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital treatment for Covid-19. We will now have ICU facilities managed by NMS,” said Maj Gen Badi.

The NMS boss, while receiving the equipment, lauded USAID for their continued partnership with NMS in the fight against the pandemic in the county through assistance with lab testing, contact tracing, equipping a 160-bed isolation centre at Mbagathi.

“Most of Nairobi residents are not privileged to afford private healthcare and that is why NMS will compete and equip 24 health centers by end of January 2021 as well as operationalise a Level Five hospital in Korogocho which stalled and had been in construction for the last 20 years,” he said.