EXPENSIVE TREATMENT

NHIF offers hope in cancer burden

People should register instead of waiting for fundraisers, says Ottichilo

In Summary

• Most people sell family assets or call a harambee to solve their medical problems

• Governor says this is avoidable if they learn about NHIF and sign up for the scheme

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo in an interview with the Star at the county boardroom
Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo in an interview with the Star at the county boardroom
Image: MARTIN OMBIMA

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo has urged residents to register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund to ease the burden of medication.

Speaking to the Star while at his home in Emanyinya village, Emuhaya subcounty, the county boss said the NHIF kitty is the last hope for residents.

He urged boda boda riders to ensure they are fully registered on the kitty together with their families.

“Once you register on that kitty and commit yourself to paying only Sh500 on a monthly basis, it will help you,” he said.

“With that NHIF, you won’t need people to come and contribute for you, nor sell what you have to solve your medical complications.”

Ottichilo said most people have been selling family assets to solve their medical problems because they are not well informed on the NHIF kitty that can help them.

The county boss said currently the kitty has been incorporated to help those with lifestyle diseases.

These are the most expensive to deal with, considering they need a long-term solution or long-term medication, he said.

“Issues of kidney complications, heart complications, lung complications and cancer are quite expensive to treat, but with NHIF, people can manage,” Ottichilo said.

“Other complications that also have high costs of treating include accidents, situations where people need organ replacement, operations, among others.”

He said people have largely been depending on fundraising, which at times is disappointing because the expenses used for the harambee are more than what has been raised.

The governor urged riders to ensure they fully register on the kitty, saying it will be of more benefit to them.

He urged the central government to ensure the NHIF kitty is in safe hands to help Kenyans across the board.

“If we want to win the Kenyans' trust, we must ensure that the kitty is well protected and serves its purpose,” Ottichilo said.

“We know we have been having issues in the kitty, but the Ministry of Health has been working day and night to ensure everything is streamlined to meet the set goals.”

Initially, the NHIF had been marred by corruption issues that left most Kenyans losing hope in it.

Ottichilo further urged locals to seek services in public hospitals in the county, saying his administration has improved on facilities and service delivery.

“We are also further going to improve on them like Luanda subcounty. We are going to uplift it to a Level 4 hospital to serve our people. At Hamisi, we are going to do the same, and Vihiga and Sabatia, to use the county referral,” he said.