NHIF asked to improve cover for kidney transplants

NHIF building./FILE
NHIF building./FILE
A lobby group has presented a petition to the National Hospital Insurance Fund at the Kenya Renal Conference 2018 in Mombasa.
The petition dubbed #EndTransplantMedsNightmareNow! wants NHIF to invest more in kidney transplants for its members rather than dialysis.
Renal Patient Society of Kenya chairman Seth Mc'Ligeyo says about 4.8 million Kenyans have some form of kidney disease.
Out of this, 10 per cent are chronic yet the patients are unaware.
He said the only treatment available for kidney failure is dialysis or a transplant.
Currently, the NHIF supports dialysis for two sessions per week at Sh9,500, yet some patients require three.
NHIF also covers transplant charges with a limit of Sh500,000 per patient.
The society says this support is timely and a great boost for

patients with renal failure but more needs to be done in order to pump more funds in kidney transplants.

The petition further states that a transplant patient needs to take drugs for life to suppress the immune system not to reject the transplanted organ.
The lobby is appealing to the NHIF to include the cost of post-transplant medication in its cover as it is cheaper to sustain a transplant patient on Sh35,000 - Sh45,000 per month rather than Sh76,000 a month on dialysis.