October 2017 Dailynation; For the first time, the national health insurer will cover fertility services for civil servants starting this month.
From a comprehensive medical cover for police and prison officers submitted by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), the officers and their dependants will benefit from In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment services.
The national health insurer takes over from AoN, which has been insuring police officers at Sh4.6 billion even in private hospitals.
NHIF chief executive officer Geoffrey Mwangi said this is an extra benefit since it is not under the national scheme but only civil servants can access the services.
“Fertility services are very expensive and only civil servants can benefit because it is covered under premium,” he said.
For couples seeking IVF, one of the biggest obstacles is the cost which is not covered by insurance companies.
In Kenya, there is no public hospital offering IVF, while the cost of services in private hospitals is high.
A session of IVF costs an average of Sh350,000.
And if the procedure is not successful in the first round, the cost can go up to Sh1 million, depending on how many times it is done.
Only five percent of the population that suffers infertility can afford treatment.
“The test tube baby costs around Sh400,000 yet the probability that pregnancy will occur in one cycle is not guaranteed.
“On average, a couple needs three cycles, which cost Sh1.2 million or even more,” Dr Rasha Kelej, the CEO of Merck Foundation, which deals with infertility issues, said.
She said the initiative by NHIF was a noble one since some people who could not afford the services will get help.
According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of infertility in Africa is very high and in developing countries, one in every four couples are infertile.