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NHIF rescues school girl with arm tumour

Health & Science - By Stephen Rutto | February 22nd 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

A girl weighed down by a tumour on her arm has been admitted to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.

The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) picked up Cynthia Nekesa, whose plight was highlighted by The Standard, from her home and delivered her to the hospital.

The 18-year-old Form Three student at Tingolo Secondary School in Butula constituency has been to several hospitals in search of a cure.

The tumour on her left arm has been growing for more than a decade and her family has been struggling to pay her medical bills.

Nekesa narrated her tribulations to The Standard, saying the swollen arm had made it difficult for her to attend school. She claimed that she had been stigmatised and wanted the arm amputated to ease her embarrassment.

The national medical insurer deployed an ambulance to pick up Nekesa from her home in Masendebare village and took her to MTRH for specialised treatment.

“We learnt of the girl’s suffering through The Standard and discovered that she can be treated through NHIF’s enhanced comprehensive medical cover for students in public secondary schools,” said Martin Mbai, the Rift Valley region NHIF officer in charge of operations.

Nekesa arrived at the referral hospital yesterday for medical procedures. She was accompanied by her mother, Roselyne Awino, and NHIF officers from Busia.

She was admitted as tumour specialists began their examinations.

"She is being examined by specialists. We will issue a brief on her condition after surgery," said the hospital's chief executive officer, Wilson Aruasa.

NHIF said Nekesa's bill will be paid under the Edu Afya insurance package that covers students in public secondary schools in a contract between the Education ministry and the insurer.

“We shall ensure that she gets the best imaging, diagnosis, surgery and other necessary procedures,” said Mr Mbai.

He explained that many parents were not aware that NHIF could pay hospital bills for their children in secondary school.

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