Let’s all achieve universal healthcare for a prosperous nation, pupils sing

By George Orido | Tuesday, Aug 14th 2018 at 09:39
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Starehe Boy's Center celebrates after emerging tops under class 312 on the seventh day of the 92nd national music festivals at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology in Nyeri, August 13, 2018. [Mose Sammy, Standard]

Students took to the stage to articulate the need for universal healthcare at the ongoing national music festivals in Nyeri.

They stressed the need for a revamped national health insurance scheme to help mitigate health challenges that have affected many families since independence.

They also expressed that this was one way citizens could contribute towards making sure one of the Big Four agenda items, health, is achieved.

Ruaraka High School from Nairobi County eschewed the folly that comes with a family that does not have health insurance.

“A stitch in time saves nine,” they sang.

Moi Secondary School Nakuru presented a song about a man who had experienced untold health challenges but the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) stepped in to help him get treatment.

“Now I am happy and I can jump as high as the Maasai moran because my health needs and those of my family have been taken care of by this cover,” the students sang, urging Kenyans to take advantage of the new healthcare regime that underwrites several conditions in many hospitals in the country.

From Nyanza, Migori Township High School offered Kenyans a tip - the only way to save on the many fundraisers occasioned by huge hospital bills is by enlisting with the national health insurance.

Conducted by Jacob Otondo and produced by Leonard Oduor, St Peter’s Budokoni captured the mood of the audience with their presentation, Supa Cover.

In the song, they captured problems faced by a patient who, even after getting well in hospital, could not be discharged due to his unpaid medical bill.

He becomes a permanent resident in the ward despite the risk of contracting new infections from new patients.

Just last week, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko signed an executive order so those detained in city hospitals for more than half a year could be released and their bills waived.

Other teams that presented songs with the same theme were Riruta Central, Gituamba Secondary, Rapogi High, Mutatha-ini, St Peters Budkoni, Nyandarua High and Mugai Secondary schools.

But while the performances were entertaining, adjudicator Jaqueline Mulinda and Barasa Mukoya noted that there was a lot of room for improvement, especially in clarity of message.

“We saw a class that struggled with lyrics that were logical and clear in message delivery,” said Ms Mulinda.

Meanwhile, seven British Euro-Afro vocalists arrived at the festival and are expected to perform as guest artistes tomorrow.

The group comprising Alice Williams, Nicole Sarah Gill, James Beard, Peter Hyams, Adam Biddlecombe, Odhiambo Odhiambo, Jack Brewer and Abraham Awuor are led by UK-based Kenyan traditional and cultural artist, Diana Badia.

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