Poor turnout hits NHIF registration drive in Kenya

NHIF Biometric Registrations on August 4, 2021 [David Gichuru, Standard]

Only 30 per cent of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) health scheme members have upgraded their registration status from Smartcard to biometric.

According to Devolution Cabinet Secretary for Eugene Wamalwa, 300,000 people have so far registered.

"I urge all the 47 devolved units to be part of the partnership to ensure that the registration of the targeted Kenyans is fast-tracked," Wamalwa said.

Speaking at Kimatuni in Bumula Sub-county, Wamalwa disclosed that the government had set aside over Sh6 billion to register one million targeted groups of people.

"Once you have been registered, do not fear accessing any health facility for services. We have lost many lives due to lack of money to cater for treatment expenses, but NHIF seeks to address those challenges.”

Bungoma County targets to register at least 34,000 needy families under the NHIF programme in the first phase of the Universal Health Scheme.

The CS also challenged lawmakers from sugarcane growing areas to support the Sugar Bill, currently at the committee stage in Parliament.

Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, the author of the Bill, said he is confident it will sail through and benefit farmers.

Mr Wamalwa said the Bill will deal with the problem of cartels in the local sugar industry and create enabling environment for farmers and the sugar mills to thrive.

Wamalwa assured the residents that President Uhuru Kenyatta would visit the region once the Covid-19 cases are under control.

“He (Uhuru) has been championing for reforms in the sugar sector, and he will be touring the region to address the issue.”

The CS called on  One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula to make up their minds and join a winning coalition ahead of 2022 for the good of the Western region.

Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong, who accompanied the CS, called on Luhya leaders to forego their ambitions and support Orange Party leader Raila Odinga for the presidency.

“2022 presidential election will be a two-horse race between Raila and Deputy President William Ruto, the rest should choose which side to support,” said Ojaamong.

In attendance were former Kanduyi MP Alfred Khang'ati, Trans Nzoia County Assembly speaker Joshua Werunga and other professionals from the region.