The Renal Patients Society of Kenya (RPSK) has signed a petition against the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) that seeks to have the insurer pay for the post-transplant medication.
The petition that has 27,047 signatures from the patients and their relatives is a push to see NHIF pay for up to three drugs known as an immunosuppression treatment, which costs Sh40,000 a month.
NHIF covers dialysis and transplant costs but does not include the meds they need for life after transplant. The petitioners also say that the cover is only applying to civil servants but not to all citizens.
According to Mr. Gilbert Osoro, the Manager of Benefits and Contracting at NHIF, unlike other contributors, the benefits package for civil servants is comprehensive, hence the differences in coverage.
The petitioners also say that patients who need transplant keep off surgery due to the expenses incurred after the operation.
The drugs are supposed to be taken for the entire life of the patients after the surgery which makes it more expensive.
In Kenya, about four million are suffering from renal infections and only 10 percent of this population can afford the medical expenses and dialysis services.
The country has about 26 kidney specialists and 51 dialysis units that deal with kidney infections and plans to take more units to the counties are underway.
The Health Cabinet Secretary had recently opened a kidney dialysis center (Mediheal Hospital and Fertility Centre) in Eldoret and commended the Hospital for outstanding leadership in the provision of high-quality medical services not only in Kenya but across the East African Region.
“The center will help reduce the outward referrals to other countries for these transplant services and also contribute to Kenya’s economy through inward medical tourism,” the CS noted.