The Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) has partnered with the Kenya Diabetes Management and Information (DMI) Center to support a medical camp scheduled for September at kambiti in Maragua County.
While receiving a cheque amounting to 520,000 shillings from the DMI center’s Executive Director, the AKI Chairman, Stephen Wandera, termed the health care of Kenyans as a very central concern citing that under utilization of insurance in the country is reflected by the consequences faced by Kenyans in Businesses and during accidents. He however said that the camps will create a platform for creating awareness as the insurance companies brace for affordable medical insurance.
“These medical camps are at the core of our strategic plan to create awareness on the significance of health care insurance, our key concern is to make the insurance accessible and affordable to a majority of Kenyans,” said Wandera.
Wandera said that the support will go a long way in directing the needs of the society while ensuring the medical scheme lead to transformation of livelihoods.
He also said that through the partnership with the government, the leading BMO has widened the scheme that has since seen over one million Kenyans access healthcare services at affordable costs.
“We initiated several medical microfinance schemes with partners like BRITAK, Kenya Women Finance Trust, to reach one million Kenyans, we have widened the reach and now we offer health care insurance at affordable costs, with members paying an average of 1000 shillings annually in premiums for a 200,000 cover,” said Wandera.
On her part, the DMI center’s Executive Director, Eva Muchemi, said that the camp will emphasize on Diabetes among other medical conditions due to the rising prevalence rates which has made the disease a major risk factor.
“In Kenya, the prevalence rate of Diabetes is estimated at six to 10 per cent, a figure that could be higher in some areas of the country, due to the rising numbers in all public health institutions, it has received recognition as a major health risk,” said Muchemi.
Noting that the cost management of complications related to diabetes is an economic burden to individuals and families, she said that through the partnership they will be able to control the risks at an early stage.
“The emphasis is now on prevention of primary and secondary rather than curative measures, this is the reason medical camps like this one and partners are supporting, is crucial as conditions are diagnosed before they reach complication levels,” said Muchemi.
She also noted that 60 per cent of patients undergoing dialysis at Kenyatta National Hospital suffer from the silent killer.
Over the last six years the figure has risen dramatically among people under the age of 30 years, according to the International Diabetes federation and Practicing diabetologists 150 million,200 million and 285 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2000, 2004 and 2009 respectively.
The federation predicts that the figures will rise to over 320 million in 2025, with the biggest percentage being 75 per cent in developing countries like Kenya.
The Association of Insurers is now aiming to achieve a premium volume of 200 billion shillings by 2015 in the micro finance sector, in its quest to provide affordable health care insurance. This the AKI chairman, hopes it will buttress the continental micro finance market which has a potential customer base.
“This will buttress the continental market with a customer base of 700 million people. The number is estimated to be worth 2,325 billion shillings (US $ 25 billion),” he said.
He added: “Figures indicate that around 147 million Africans are currently covered by micro insurance policies which generate approximately 23,901 million shillings (US $ 257 million) in premiums for insurance.”
Expressing optimism of creating awareness to ensure better understanding of insurance, Wandera said Kenya has a great potential for insurance market, estimating the penetration growth of 2.6 per cent by 2015.
The medical camp, the first of its kind to be organized by insurance partners including African Merchant Assurance Company, Mayfair insurance, Kenya Alliance, Kenya Orient, UAP, Jubilee Insurance, Cooperative and Directline Insurance, is scheduled for 3rd September 2011.