Establishing small clinics in schools could help ensure success of the government’s insurance scheme for secondary school students.
Dr Brian Mulondo, the operations director at Bliss Healthcare, on Friday said clinics would reduce the problem of students, especially in rural areas, having to cover long distances to reach hospitals.
Bliss Health Care is one of the companies contracted to participate in the students’ health cover programme.
The company has been piloting the micro-Sclinics in schools. “Difficulty in accessing hospitals by many students in rural areas was a big hindrance to the success of the programme,” Mulondo said.
“Students require fast-tracked treatment so that they can resume learning but it is unfortunate that many headteachers are yet to enroll their schools under the free NHIF cover programme, several months after it was launched,” he added.
Mulondo said such clinics would be equipped to prepare for first-line treatment of most common ailments such as upper and lower respiratory infections, malaria and sports trauma, and in cases of emergency in schools.
His colleague, Dr Steve Amaya, said only serious cases should be referred to hospitals.
“The distance gap should be closed. Medics in these clinics are in touch with doctors in case further consultation or referral is needed,” Amaya said.
They advised headteachers to inquire how to enlist their schools so that their students can benefit.
The government launched a National Hospital Insurance Fund cover worth more than Sh4 billion for more than 2.2 million public secondary school students on May 1, last year.
The programme partly works with private healthcare providers who offer services on behalf of the national insurer. Stakeholders in the education sector have however pointed out difficulty in accessibility to hospitals by students especially in rural areas.