16 October 2012

Kenya: Quit Over New NHIF Rates, Nyong'o Told

MORE than 2,000 NHIF contributors in Nyandarua yesterday held a demonstration and called for the resignation of Medical Services minister Anyang' Nyong'o for ignoring their grievances on the new rates.

They accused the minister of ignoring the plight of the poor saying he failed to consult all the stakeholders before announcing the new NHIF rates, which are too high for a majority of Kenyans.

The placard-waving contributors, who staged a peaceful demonstration at Ndunyu Njeru trading centre in Nyandarua South district, asked the government to revoke its decision on the new NHIF rates because the poor cannot afford them.

The protesters, who were led by Micheal Munene, burned Nyong'o effigy as they chanted "enough is enough".

Munene, who the chairman ARECA-DAPS health organisation which caters for more than 15,000 poor and needy in the area, said the government should have instead reduced the contribution to make it affordable for all Kenyans.

He said the contributors would be forced to match to State House to demand Prof. Nyong'o's removal from his ministry should he fail to adhere to their demands.

He urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Ondinga to intervene in the matter before it gets of out hand, adding that if Nyong'o is not removed from the ministry, they will march to State House to seek audience with the President.

Mercy Wanjiru, a representative for people living the HIV/AIDs, said most of the members are unable to get ARVs and medical attention.

She said most of the infected are "living at the mercy of God" because they are being handled by untrained personnel such as midwives in the villages for lack of affordable medical services and facilities.

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