High blood pressure, diabetes among teachers’ chronic diseases

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) CEO Nancy Macharia chats with KNUT Secretary General Collins Oyuu during the signing of the 2021 - 2025 collective bargaining agreement.[Wilberforce Okwiri,Standard]

High blood pressure, diabetes and asthma are the most common chronic diseases among teachers, records show.

The statistics from the tutors’ medical scheme shows that 10,757 teachers and their dependents are presently in hypertension management programme.

Another 3,771 teachers are on diabetes care while some 1,033 are on asthma management.

Convulsive disorder closes the top five chronic diseases teachers and their dependents suffer from, with some 510 beneficiaries under the chronic diseases management plan of the scheme.

The programme, supports the provider-patient relationship and also optimises patient care through prevention and proactive interventions. It also strives to improve overall health and quality of life with aim of lowering cost of care.

Other chronic ailments under the scheme are thyroid diseases with some 229 under care and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) — also called prostate gland enlargement with 177 members enrolled for care.

Mental disorders account for 170 cases, followed by sickle cell (146), renal disorders (83) and gout arthritis with 68 cases.

The details emerged during a virtual sensitisation meeting between the Teachers Service Commission, insurance brokers Minet Kenya and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet).

TSC Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said similar meetings will be held with other teachers unions and associations.

Data shows that most affected are teachers aged between 36 and 60. This accounts for 14,783 cases of chronic case management.

Teachers and their dependents aged between 19 and 35 had 814 cases of chronic diseases.

Some 793 beneficiaries above the age of 60 have also been enrolled in chronic diseases management. Dependents under the age of 18 constitute some 554 cases.

Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori said despite some challenges, the scheme is one of the best in the region. “We are happy that our teachers are enjoying one of the best schemes in the country, even as we push for improvements,” said Misori.

TSC contracted Minet Kenya on July 1, 2015 to manage the multi-billion-shilling medical plan.

The contract has been renewed annually since then. In October last year, Minet got a new three-year deal to manage the cover under enhanced benefits for all teachers employed by the government.

Under the enhanced cover, inpatient was increased to between Sh750,000 and Sh2.5 million. Previously, this cover ranged between Sh500,000 to Sh1.5 million across the various job groups.

Outpatient cover, which was unlimited until last year, is now capped between Sh100,000 and Sh375,000 across job groups. Other improved benefits are under optical cover, for which teachers and their dependents have a total of Sh45,000.

Previously, it ranged between Sh10,000 and Sh25,000. Dental cover is presently capped at a flat rate of Sh35,000 up from between Sh10,000 and Sh25,000.

Maternity cover, previously capped at Sh75,000, has been enhanced to between Sh100,000 and Sh200,000.

According to Minet Kenya, some 3,600 outpatient cases are managed under the scheme daily while 45 babies are born daily, 200 spectacles issued every day and at least 200 dentals cases managed.

During the past year, some 1.5 million beneficiaries sought medical help in the various facilities across the country. Of these, 1.3 million made outpatient visits and some 66,864 inpatient admissions.

Details show that within last year, there were 16,053 maternity cases, 71,390 optical visits and 52,843 dental cases.

Report shows that the number of health facilities under the scheme have increased from 991 to 1,324.

Misori asked the scheme administrators to address pre-authorisation and discharge challenges which can be troublesome.

“We need to address the pre-authorisation requirements during emergencies,” said Misori.

The scheme presently has 334,531 registered teachers who are the principal members and some 188,912 spouses. Scheme only allows one spouse. Total registered dependents of the scheme presently stands at 734, 372.

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