Students Demand Answers on Uhuru's NHIF Promise

  • Secondary school students and heads in Kenya are demanding answers from the Government after students left for the mid-term break on Saturday without the medical cover that had been promised by  President  Uhuru Kenyatta in December last year.

    Many school heads interviewed by The Nation revealed that sick students were still being attended to at the institutions' dispensaries or in nearby public hospitals.

    For serious cases, schools are calling students' parents to have them intervene when they can no longer handle the situation.

    A number of schols have opted to enter into agreements with insurance companies to provide medical covers for their students.

    Late last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta had ordered the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to enroll all 2.6 million high school students for the state-sponsored medical cover.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta giving a speech on December 12, 2017"][/caption]

    The plan was expected to take effect as schools re-opened in January 2018.

    Education Permanent Secretary (PS) Belion Kipsang told the National Assembly Education Committee on Wednesday that the plan was only being delayed by consultations among stakeholders.

    "We are still engaging all stakeholders and soon we will roll out the program," stated Kipsang as he presented a budget proposal.

    NHIF Chief Executive Geoffrey Mwagi also asserted that the plan was still on course, contrary to reports that it had been temproarily shelved.

    "There is some work going on in the background between us and the ministry which will be completed by Tuesday when we will be able to give you comprehensive details.

    "It will be followed by a launch where we will show the progress," he explained.

    [caption caption="President Uhuru Kenyatta on the campaign trail last year"][/caption]