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NHIF to cover bills incurred by Covid-19 patients

Reproductive Health - By Mercy Asamba

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) will now cover Covid-19 related admissions at designated public health facilities.

NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo made the announcement on Tuesday saying the move was in tandem with the Government's efforts to curb the spread of the virus.

“The health and wellness of our members, is of utmost importance to us, and in support to the Government's efforts in mitigating and containing the spread of Covid-19, we shall support all Covid -19 positive members and their declared beneficiaries who get admitted to the Ministry of Health designated facilities,” NHIF CEO Peter Kamunyo said in a statement.

The facilities include; Kenyatta National Teaching Referral Hospital, Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital, Mbagathi County Hospital, County designated facilities and any other facility as may be designated by the Ministry of Health.

NHIF stated that it will not be liable for bills incurred in non-MoH designated health facilities.

Normally, epidemics and pandemics are generally not covered by insurance policies, so is the NHIF.

“This is also in line with the contracts that National Hospital Insurance Fund has signed with your facility under Clause 8 General exclusions, subsection 8.2.14 on epidemics and pandemics; and clause 2.21 on benefits coordination, sub-section 2.21.3, which guides on government coordinated programs,” NHIF CEO Kamunyo says.

Coronavirus pandemic

After two and a half months since the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan December last year, the World Health Organization declared novel coronavirus a pandemic.

This is the highest level classification to describe a disease outbreak under the International Health Regulations.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Covid-19 had gained a foothold on every continent.

The World Health Organization defines a pandemic as “an outbreak of a new pathogen that spreads easily from person to person across the globe.”

A disease is more likely to be declared a pandemic if the virus is brand new, able to infect people easily and spreads from one person to another in an efficient and sustained way. To meet the classification, a disease must be contagious.

According to the USA’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been at least four pandemics of influenza in the 19th century and three occurred in the 20th century. Others include HIV/AIDS and Zika Virus.

Covid-19 cases

Kenya has so far recorded 17975 cases of Covid-19 with 280 deaths.

Following a recent surge in numbers, after relaxing some of the Covid-19 regulations, President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday extended a nationwide night-time curfew for a further one month.

He also announced a ban on the sale of alcohol in all restaurants while bars will remain closed indefinitely.

Uhuru made the announcement after meeting regional governors on Monday to assess the country’s Covid-19 response.

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