By Lorraine Anyango.
Kisumu County has made smart its promise of including Sickle cell warriors in the Marwa Kisumu Solidarity Health Cover.
Today the enrolment of warriors under the Marwa cover commenced at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).
This new move will see Kisumu County pay a monthly premium of Ksh.300 for each registered warrior while they will pay Ksh.200 to access the NHIF super cover benefits for one year.
Even better the Sickle Cell Zero initiative that spearheaded awareness creation on sickle cell in September in Kisumu was able to raise money to support some 33 warriors to get medicine and insurance. Warriors supported by the Sickle Cell Zero initiative will only pay Ksh 900 as Ksh 1500 has been paid by the initiative while Marwa pays the balance.
The exercise saw about 67 warriors registered under Marwa. Annually Marwa will pay Ksh 3600 for each warrior while the warriors will each pay Ksh 2400 so that the premium total is Ksh 500 monthly for each individual.
“I was not aware of the daughter’s condition until she was seven years old, she was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia.” Cynthia Ojwang (not her real name) one of the caregivers said.
She has dealt with challenges such as the shortage of drugs like paludrine, “Since I’m not sure I get medication, I ensure that her daughter sleeps under a treated mosquito net, I clear bushes around our homestead, my daughter takes only boiled water for drinking and keeps warm most of the time unless it is very hot.” She said as a remedy to keep opportunistic infections at bay.
Most of the caregivers welcomed the new move perceiving that a burden had been lifted. Marwa’s partnership with NHIF will help lay off most of their financial requirements therefore an easier life in the challenging world of living with sickle cell.
Officers carrying the Marwa assignment joined hands with officers from NHIF in a sensitization forum at JOOTRH before the commencement of the enrollment process.
Kisumu County Health Insurance Coordinator, Dr. Phanice Ajore employed warriors and their caregivers to take charge of their health by ensuring that they got health insurance to caution against the numerous hospitalizations warriors encounter.
“Insurance is a lifetime security anyone can gift oneself because in this world we live in, no one knows whatever may occur shortly and days to come.” She said.
Mr. Moses Ochieng, NHIF staff explained to the audience the different types of coverage the scheme offers including outpatient, maternity Cover, specialized Diagnostic tests (MRI and CT-Scan), kidney Renal Dialysis, and oncology.
Upon registration to the scheme, it’s not just one person who becomes a beneficiary to the single card but the entire family.
Dependents can be added to the card upon production of required valid documents confirming that they are family.
Children below six months are added to the card using a birth notification while those above 6 months but under 18 years are added as beneficiaries using a photocopy of their birth certificate accompanied with a photocopy of the principal owner’s national identity card.
Payments can be made monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the clients’ financial ability capability. Civil servants and employees can also enjoy the scheme’s benefits as their employer remits their monthly contributions deducted from their salary, they can also add their dependents.