Family planning players in Kenya heaved a sigh of relief as the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) finally included provision of Family Planning (FP) services under its cover. For a long time, the national health insurer as well as private health insurance firms have regarded FP as being a non-core service to end users. This is set to change starting April 2015.
DSW and other FP supporting organizations have been agitating for inclusion of family planning services and commodities in both public and private health covers as this will ease the burden of seeking services. Inclusion also acknowledges that FP is a health issue and should be accorded the same weight in terms of prioritization and financial support. Lobbying efforts are still in high gear to ensure private insurance companies also follow suit.
Another milestone is the inclusion and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) under the insurance cover. Although HIV&AIDS and associated opportunistic infections had previously been included in the cover, other STIs were not included. Under the current scheme, these are now covered.
These are huge gains for Kenyans as we head to the Post 2015 era, where goals number three and five focus on health for all and gender equality and empowerment, which are critical for a more developed and equal nation.