NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – Expectant mothers can now access better free maternal care as the Ministry of Health launched the “Linda Mama, Boresha Jamii Program” on Tuesday which will not only be available in public hospitals, but also in faith-based and select private healthcare facilities nationwide.
Speaking during the launch at the KICC, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu said beneficiaries of the program will have access to ante-natal, post-natal, delivery and immunization care.
“The launch of the Linda Mama is a great step towards improving access and quality of maternal, newborn and healthcare services for all Kenyans,” said the Health CS.
The Sh5.4 billion program is a strategic effort made by the government to reduce financial burden to families.
It is also aimed at enhancing social protection to improve access to healthcare essential to achievement of vision 2030 and Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).
Currently there are 1.6 million women delivering annually in the country, One million deliver in public hospitals, 200,000 in private hospitals while 400,000 are underserved to maternal health services due to service charges which is unaffordable to most.
“Maternal healthcare is a primary concern for the government. As such, investing in maternal health is a wise health and economic policy decision that we have had to make,” said Mailu.
The Linda Mama program will be rolled out in 2,000 selected private and 700 faith-based organisation healthcare facilities nationwide.
It will be realised in two phases with beneficiaries under the first phase accessing services in 5,073 facilities across the country.
The second phase will commence in February 2017 providing ante-natal care, delivery and post-natal care.
For an expectant mother to enjoy the services offered by the program, she will be required to produce her national identification card for registration or a guardian’s identification card or, use ante-natal care records for pregnant women under 18years.
Registration of beneficiaries can be done through mobile phone platform with USSD by dialling *263#, Online registration, contracted healthcare providers, NHIF service centres or online portal-www.nhif.or.ke/healthinsurance/registeronline/ and Huduma Centres countrywide.
Mailu assured that the program is part of efforts to enhance system efficiency, accountability and minimize complaints.
“Linda Mama is one intervention that aims to achieving universal access to quality maternal and child health services and contributes to the country’s progress towards universal health coverage,” assured CS Mailu.
The program is a follow up of the free maternity care program that began in 2013 designed to reimburse public hospitals for costs incurred in the execution of health care services.