Health

HealthMedia

NHIF Heist: Blowing cover on how millions are swindled through fictitious private hospital claims

Brian Obuya

A4T grantee and  KTN journalist, Brian Obuya, has published a story that he has been investigating on fraudulent claims that have cost millions of shillings at the National Hospital Insurance fund.

A report that was done by the Ethics and Anti – Corruption Commission (EACC) unveiled that NHIF subscribers were paying 5000 percent more in order to get medical attention at some of the medical facilities.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mr. Noordin Haji said that, the systems have been charging more than what is required and main concerns have been noted on social responsibility problems and benefits.

Witnesses also said that, many registered medical practitioners who are involved and are part of a cartel that forges patient statements claiming to have received various treatments and procedures.

For more information, click here https://youtu.be/TExaWrJOeBI to view the story that was broadcasted at KTN.

To check your NHIF account status via your mobile phone:
Compose a new sms, Type the letters “ID”, a space, then your ID number (or passport number if applicable) e.g ID 12345678. Send to 21101. Note: Charge for this service is Kshs 10 only.

read more
HealthMedia

Mothers ignorant of Linda Mama miss out on free delivery services

Diana Kendi

In October 2016, the government, through the Health ministry, launched the Linda Mama, Boresha Jamii programme under the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The aim was to ensure pregnant women and infants have access to quality and affordable health services. Diana Kendi, A4T grantee, investigation highlights the lack of awareness of the program amongst mothers in Nairobi, Kajiado and Kiambu counties.

Since the introduction of the programme, county hospitals no longer receive cash for providing maternity services, but the funds to cater for the free maternity are paid through the NHIF as reimbursements for services offered or a better package for women.

Read more at The Star Newspaper.

Read more at The Star Newspaper.

read more
ActivitiesHealth

Learning Circle on Transparency and Accountability in Health Financing

Picture1

Transparency International Kenya with the support of the Health Action Fund convened a Learning Circle on Health Financing on 9th November 2018 at Heron Portico Hotel in Nairobi. The Learning Circle sought to initiate discussions on Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models with the specific topics of discussion being:

  • Experience Sharing Working on Accountability in the Health Sector
  • Familiarisation of participants with Kenya’s Health Financing Models
  • Transparency and Accountability considerations in realising the Right to Health
  • Designing Working Strategies for Health Accountability

The meeting was attended by:

Experience Sharing Working on Accountability in the Health Sector

Titus Gitonga a Programme Officer from TI-Kenya presented on the various interventions by the organisation noting that TI-Kenya has over the years developed innovative approaches aimed at empowering citizens with information in order to effectively participate and demand accountability within the Health Sector. Among the innovative approaches adopted include:

  • The Mobile Drug Tracking System (MDTS) . MDTS is a web and mobile based platform used to track the availability and movement of drugs and pharmaceuticals at facility level. MDTS also incorporates citizen modules where information regarding availability of drugs can be accessed via location and facility and provides for a short code which allows for registration by users to get various updates regarding the drug groups.
  • Another innovative approach is the Action for Transparency (A4T) A4T is a Nairobi based project aimed at empowering citizens to monitor the allocation and utilisation of funds to public primary schools and health centres. The project incorporates the use of social accountability tools such as Public Expenditure Tracking surveys and social audits to track the flow of resources at health centres and disseminate the information through web and mobile based platforms including the A4T mobile App available for android and IOS phones.

  • The Health Sector has also been identified as being among the sectors highly affected by corruption. The 2017 East Africa Bribery Index (EABI) signifies that corruption in the form of bribery continues to be rife in provision of Medical and Health Services, identified as among the top ten most prevalent sectors in regard to bribery. Reporting bribery incidences also remains very low with an overwhelming majority (94%) of Kenyans who were surveyed indicating that they encountered bribery but did not report to any authority or person.
  • Following a report done by TI-Kenya, KELIN and the Society for International Development, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission went on to carry out a systems and procedures review of the Health Sector and also released a report titled, ‘Review of Systems, Polices, Procedures and Practices in the Pricing of Pharmaceutical and Non-Pharmaceutical Supplies in the Kenya Public Health Sector’. The EACC report among other findings highlights the systemic weaknesses and opportunities existing in the procurement and dispensing stages of pharmaceutical and non- pharmaceutical supplies in the public sector and recommends compliance with national specifications for medical and medical suppliers, disclosure of evaluation criteria in bid documents and capacity building in market survey to address noncompliance issues with national standard specifications for medical and medical suppliers in the acquisition stage.

Ms. Linda Wanjiru, a Programme Officer at KELIN familiarised participants on the work that KELIN has been doing in the Health Sector specifically in relation to governance,  pushing for transparency and accountability in accessing information and demanding for compliance with existing legal provisions on access to information, public participation  and prudent use of public resources. She indicated that in partnership with other organisations including TI-Kenya, Katiba Institute and ICJ-Kenya, they had submitted request for information letters to the Kenyatta National Hospital  (KNH) in relation to construction of a private hospital at KNH and another to the Council of Governors seeking information on the Agreement between Kenya and the Cuban Doctors with no response as at the time of the forum.

Ms. Wanjiru also indicated that through an initiative by OSEA, KELIN is leading the Health and Governance Convening – Kenyan Chapter. The Convening aims at enhancing collaborative work between different organisations working in the Health Sector and has since formed two working committees to assist in driving the accountability agenda including: Research and Evidence Gathering Committee; and the Litigation Committee. She invited participants to join in on the Convening and be part of the work being undertaken by the various organisations already in the committee.

Mr. Aggrey Aluso, the Health Rights Program Manager at OSEA also familiarised the participants with the organisation’s work supporting the Health Convening in Kenya and other participating countries including Uganda and also indicated that they were keen on supporting governance work on open contracting and good governance in the health sector.

Mr. George Githinji working on public budgets at TISA also gave a highlight on TISA’s experience in advancing public participation in the budget process. TISA also had a learning session on Private-Public-Partnerships for which the health sector also has had some huge investments around and would thus be interested in advancing these discussions.

EACHRights and ICJ-Kenya were in the initial stages of working in the Health Sector having participated in marketisation and privatisation of the health sector discussions initiated by OSEA.

Dr. Wala Elizabeth, the programme director for health systems strengthening at Amref Health Africa also indicated that the organisation was engaged in capacity building in Nairobi, Kwale, Kisumu and Vihiga of health practitioners on a health model that ensures continuous quality improvement in the delivery of health services in county and sub-county health facilities. The Kenya Quality Model for Health (KQMH) is a systems approach to strengthening quality health care in Kenya towards universal health coverage through training and mentorship using the national health information database (DHIS2).

Kenya’s Health Financing Models

This session was moderated by Dr. Matiko Riro. Dr. Matiko is a Doctoral Fellow in Health Economics at the University of Bergen in Norway. He is a medical doctor and a Commonwealth Scholar with an MSc in Public health (Health Economics) from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

It was noted that Kenya has made a commitment of accelerating its progress to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and has taken a number of steps to reform its healthcare system, to put it on the path to realising this goal.

Currently only 17 % of Kenyan households are covered by health insurance of any type, while the rest of the population relies either on donor aid, government spending or out of pocket spending for accessing health care. This makes the ambition to provide universal quality health care to all those in need, regardless of their ability to pay, a major undertaking that will require a major shift in the mechanisms and systems through which health is governed, financed and delivered.

Participants discussed the diagrammatic representation on flow of funds for the health sector below:

Participants described the flow of resources in the health sector as, “Confusing”, “Complicated”, “Inconsistent”, “Unrealistic”, “Incomprehensible”, among other adjectives describing just how complicated public financial flows in the health sector has become over the years. Some of the concerns raised on transparency and accountability in health financing include:

  • Lack of effective collaboration between the National and County Governments in designing effective laws, policies and guidelines for enhanced accountability on health finances;
  • Appropriation of County health functions by the National Government thereby also taking up budget allocations;
  • Lack of research to inform effective resource allocation and utilisation;
  • Corruption through inflated procurement costs for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products, equipment’s and services;
  • Unequal and inadequate distribution of health practitioners/professionals;
  • Unclear reporting structures for health outcomes in relation to the resources utilised;
  • Lack of adequate and effective avenues and structures for complaints handling and citizen engagement at the facilities and oversight structures;
  • Unclear insurance schemes for the public including the Kshs. 4 Billion Students insurance plan and other insurance schemes being implemented by different county governments.

Designing Working Strategies for Health Accountability

In view of the need for informed and effective development of working strategies to enhance transparency and accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing models, TI-Kenya would initiate a first round of research on the following areas of interest:

  1. Enabling Environment: any laws, policies, rules, or regulations, at both a national and county-level, that might impede the effectiveness of the various health financing models.
  2. Access to Information: the extent to which the identified health financing models are structured towards ensuring attainment of the highest attainable health standards including ensuring equitable, affordable and quality health care to all citizens.
  3. Public participation: the extent to which public health financing models allow for effective public participation in their formation and implementation including transparency, accountability and feedback mechanisms.
  4. Value for money: how the various health financing models respond to the need to ensure value for money in provision of services and health resources.

Participants also identified other opportunities and strategies to support realisation of the right to health including:

  • Collaborative research, evidence gathering and information sharing;
  • Collective action, advocacy and awareness creation;
  • Elaborate stakeholder engagements aimed at building consensus and influencing policy;
  • Policy reforms informed by the Constitutional provisions on the realisation of the Right to Quality Health Services, Access to Information, Public Participation and Prudent use of Public Resources;

A follow up engagement on this discussion would be called to validate the research results from an initial assessment on the highlighted areas on transparency and accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models.

read more
Health

Civil Society Ranks Jubilee as the Most Corrupt Administration

no thumb

TI-Kenya’s Executive Director, Mr. Samuel Kimeu with other civil society organisations marked this years’ African Anti-Corruption Day in 11th July 2018., asking the government to remain accountable in dealing with corruption suspects, and Kenyans to remain vigilant in the fight against corruption.

Video Curtesy of NTV.

 

read more
Health

Short Term Consultancy for Development of a Research Paper on Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models

Screenshot_20180928-065253_1538106880900

ASSIGNMENT: Short Term Consultancy for Development of a Research Paper on Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models
DURATION: 10 days
LOCATION: Nairobi
POSTING DATE: 18/10/2018
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 24/10/2018

Background

Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1999 in Kenya with the aim of developing a transparent and corruption free society through good governance and social justice initiatives. TI-Kenya is one of the autonomous chapters of the global Transparency International movement that are all bound by a common vision of a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption.

The Constitution of Kenya under the Bill of Rights puts a heavy responsibility on the State to ensure equitable, affordable and quality health care to all citizens. The right to health as espoused under the Constitution refers to the highest attainable standards and in so doing obligates the state to surpass internationally set standards. The Constitution also provides a conducive overarching legal framework for ensuring more comprehensive and people-driven, rights–based approach to health. The Constitution makes citizen participation an integral part of Kenya’s  governance system. Participation of the people is recognized in Article 10 of the Constitution of Kenya as one of our national values and principles of governance. Further Article 174(c) provides that the object of devolution is to: “enhance the participation of people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them.”

Notwithstanding the Constitutional requirements and safeguards for the right to health services, the highest attainable health standards and public participation, there continues to be persistent inadequacies in the health sector that have faced Kenya since independence. The Health Sector in Kenya has struggled with stagnant or declining budgets for health, system inefficiencies,
human resource deficiencies, and unaffordable quality health services. Transparency and Accountability especially on resources for the Health sector has also been wanting. In 2017 for instance, the Health Sector witnessed major challenges flowing from
industrial unrests by health practitioners, corruption and poor service delivery leading to wastage of public funds. The U.S. Embassy to Kenya on May 9, 2017 reported the suspension of approximately $21 million (2.1 billion KSH) in assistance to the Kenyan Ministry of Health. According to the U.S government, these drastic measures resulted due to ongoing concerns
about reports of corruption and weak accounting procedures at the Ministry.
It is in view of the shortcomings identified in achieving Kenyans’ health goals as set out in the Constitution and other policy and legal frameworks that the need to assess the effectiveness of health financing models in Kenya is necessary. The research paper will be important in identifying the various health financing models in existence including through the Kenya National and
County Budgets, the National Health Insurance Fund, Private Health Insurance Companies, Development Partners(Including Donors, Faith Based and Non-Governmental Organisations) and Public Private Partnerships. The research paper will also seek to determine how each of the identified models and avenues for health financing respond to Transparency and Accountability principles as elucidated in the Constitution including: access to information, public participation and value for money.

Goal/Purpose

This consultancy’s main objective is to engage a consultant for a short-term study and development of a research paper on Transparency and Accountability in Kenya’s Health Financing Models.

Scope

  1. Identify and explain the various health financing models in use in Kenya.
  2. Evaluate the feasibility and attractiveness of the various models according to the
    following categories:

    • Enabling Environment: any laws, policies, rules, or regulations, at both a
      national and county-level, that might impede the effectiveness of the various
      health financing models.
    • Access to Information: the extent to which the identified health financing
      models are structured towards ensuring attainment of the highest attainable
      health standards including ensuring equitable, affordable and quality health
      care to all citizens.
    • Public participation: the extent to which public health financing models
      allow for effective public participation in their formation and implementation
      including transparency, accountability and feedback mechanisms.
    • Value for money: how the various health financing models respond to the
      need to ensure value for money in provision of services and health resources.
    • Recommend the most appropriate model(s), if any, with workable strategies
      identified to enhance people centred transparency and accountability
      principles in the health financing models.

Expected Outputs

The expected outputs from this consultancy are as follows:

  1. Develop a research paper on the effectiveness of the Health Financing Models in Kenya;
  2. Engage various stakeholders in contributing to and validating the research paper;
  3. Develop a working paper on the strategies identified to enhance a people centred approach, transparency and accountability in the health financing models;

Consultant’s Skills and Qualifications

Successful applicants will have the following competencies:

  • A postgraduate qualification in an area related to Research and Public Policy Development, Governance and Economic Development. Experience in Health Sector Governance will be an added advantage;
  • Extensive (over 5 years) knowledge and experience in conducting similar exercises preferably in the NGO and/or health sector.
  • Similar work in the last 3 years.
  • A demonstrated high level of professionalism and an ability to work independently and in
    high-pressure situations under tight deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • High proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Deadline driven with a focus on results.
  • A person of high integrity that will model TI-Kenya’s core values.

Applications should include:

  1. A cover letter that provides reasoning for why the applicant is best suited to deliver
    against the Terms of Reference.
  2. Technical bid with methodology proposed.
  3. A brief work plan and financial proposal to deliver against the Terms of Reference, (1-2 pages.)
  4. CV or Resume of the consultant, and
  5. A sample of recently completed similar work previously conducted (hard copies or online link).

Contract Duration

10 days

Assurance of Confidentiality

All deliberations relating to this work, including all information collected from various meetings/documents shall be kept confidential and shall not be divulged to any third party either verbally or in writing or in any other form.

Logistics and Procedures

Transparency International Kenya will be responsible for paying the consultant all lawful costs incurred in the course of the consultancy.

Complaints Process

This call for Expression of Interest does not constitute a solicitation and TI-Kenya reserves the right to change or cancel the requirement at any time during the EOI process. TI-Kenya also reserves the right to require compliance with additional conditions as and when issuing the final solicitation documents. Submitting a reply to a call for EOI does not automatically guarantee receipt of the solicitation documents when issued. Invitations to bid or requests for proposals will be issued in accordance with TI-Kenya rules and procedures. Any grievances and or complaints arising from the evaluation process and final tender award can be addressed, in writing, to the Executive Director and the TI-Kenya Tender Complaints Committee.

Application Procedure

If you meet the above requirements, kindly send your portfolio (including your profile, CV and
references) to procurement@tikenya.org

read more
HealthMedia

Toxic sip: How safe is your bottled water?

DSC_0221

A4T grantee, and award winning journalists, Stellar Murumba, has published a story she has been investigating on the safety of bottled water being sold in Nairobi.

Four out of 10 samples of bottled water picked from different areas of Nairobi that were submitted for analysis at the government chemist, were found to be unfit for human consumption. The sampled water had high levels of fluoride – in excess of the World Health Organisation guideline limits of 0.3 parts per mililitre (ppm) for drinking water. They also had high levels of iron and were alkalinity.

Despite the immense health risks associated with excessive chemical components in drinking water, Kenya Bureau of Standards Corporate Communication Manager Patricia Kimanthi said that any water available in the market is compliant as per the Kenya and East Africa Community minimum and maximum standards.

Read Stellar Murumba’s article at the Daily Nation, Healthy Living, September 25, 2018. Click here for the online article.

read more
HealthMedia

Kenya’s Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Burden

DSC_0203-2

Iqra Salah, A4T grantee, has been investigating Kenya’s growing burden of drug resistant Tuberculosis. DR-TB is exerting a significant strain on the country’s economy and the health of the patients. It is six times more expensive to treat the disease per episode than it is drug-sensitive Tuberculosis, notwithstanding the severe side effects.

See the video below of Africa Uncensored’s Iqra Salah as she spoke to one of the patients whose condition is worsening as he can’t afford medication despite being covered by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthTechnology

A4T Mtaani – Radio interview at Mtaani FM

mtaani fm

A4T team Abraham Mariita and Samuel Komu were invited to breakfast show at Mtaani Radio, a community radio station located in Dagoretti area in Nairobi. The duo discussed the importance of promoting accountability and transparency in use of public funds. They got an opportunity to speak to listeners about the A4T App and how to use it. The show was live on 12th July 2018.

Click below to play the audio clip.

 

Mtaani radio broadcasts to an estimated population of 240,080 residents in Dagoretti South –Mutuini, Ngando, Riruta, Waithaka, Uthiru And Ruthimitu. Dagoretti North – Kilimani, Kawangware, Muthangari, Kileleshwa and Kabiro. Thank you for hosting us Kamadi Amata, Kevin Nyangweso and the Mtaani radio crew.

Follow Mtaani radio www.mtaaniradio.or.ke  www.facebook.com/mtaaniradio

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthTechnology

#A4TMtaani – Roadshow in Embakasi

Kaa Rada Komesha Ufisadi

The A4T team was in Embakasi West and Central constituencies on the  14th July 2018, for a day long roadshow. The roadshow was aimed at informing and empowering citizens in Embakasi to participate in governance processes of public funds in health and education, and to report suspected corruption through the Action for Transparency mobile App.

The procession started at Kangundo Road to Umoja estate where a first stop was made. Then later stopped at Tena Estate, Donholm, Mama Lucy Hospital, Komarock estate and Kayole.

 

During the stops, the MC briefed the participants about the roadshow, sensitising them on the importance of participating in budgetary processes and reporting corruption, while the A4T team, passed out fliers with brief information about the project and instructions on how to download the A4T App. The procession was marked with dance and performances by Wasanii Kibao youth group from Kariobangi area. The team also connected participants to internet WIFI in order to help interested members of the public download the A4T mobile App.

Wasanii Sanaa Youth group from Kibera, presented a captivating play about the effects of corruption and advocated for active participation of citizens to report corruption.

 

At Kayole II community hall, the team had extensive time engaging and entertaining the residents about the A4T APP, 43 participants download the App. See more photos Here.

The team will be planning more outreach activities in other parts of Nairobi in coming months.

read more
AccountabilityActivitiesEducationHealthTechnology

Community Media Forum

no thumb

In the recent weeks, albeit months, the country has witnessed a record number of serious corruption related scandals in the country. In nearly all the news channels, corruption has been the major theme. The proceedings, blame games and mysteries reported about corruption have become a norm of what is todays’ Kenyan media coverage. If Kenyans are not angry by now, probably they will never be.

Citizens are critical allies in the fight against corruption. At the heart of communities in Nairobi, lies avenues for citizens to access information that is simple, relevant and beneficial to them.  As a watchdog, the media plays an important role in ensuring that the country’s resources are well utilised.  Community media streams in particular, has an important role in educating their audience about national agendas that affect them. Among these, is the runaway corruption. It is encouraging how the media has sustained the campaign on corruption by consistently highlighting corruption scandals in the country. However, we can do more.

Action for Transparency team held a media forum on 28th June 2018 with journalists and members of community media organisations in Nairobi to discuss and share experiences on how community media can amplify community voices in the fight against corruption in Kenya.

Discussion

  • How can the community media keep the anti-corruption campaign alive?
  • How can we help communities participate in this discourse?
  • What is the role of community media towards amplifying community voices?
  • How can community media break down effects of corruption to the general public?
  • What are the ways in which journalists can represent community voices/interests? (Public Interest

The forum was attended by 32 participants. The panelists included: Tom Mboya – Koch FM, Alex Ikambi – Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET), Kevin Mabonga – TI-Kenya and Abraham Mariita as the moderator.

Amongst the issues raised was that community media should break down the cost of corruption to what is easily relatable or understood by their audience. Tom Mboya agreed with Kevin Mabonga that journalists should breakdown the cost of corruption by equating equivalence of the money lost, vis-a-vis what it could do for the citizen.

Community media should also utilise their intimate relationship with their audience in order to cultivate feedback in regards to expressing their views about transparency and accountability issues.

 

Alex Ikambi asked the participants to ensure that they go down to the community and find out if a reported issue of corruption has been resolved.

Some journalists present, asked for capacity building opportunities for journalists in community media in order to enable them tackle the issues of corruption better. In addition, it was suggested that TI-Kenya and other organisations should partner with the community media to organise public forums.

Michael from Mtaani radio asked participants from other community radios to think of other avenues that can help amplify community voices in unison, like coming up with a newspaper to publish stories.

Notably, two community radio stations have been on the forefront in empowering their audience to fight corruption. Koch Fm held a Community Accountability Forum, that brought together members of Korogocho area, community and political leaders in order to keep an account of the developmental aspects of that area. On the other hand, Ghetto FM has stated a project called Follow The Money in partnership with a Nigerian organisation, to educate and empower their audience to track expenditure of public funds.

The engagements with community media will be on-going, including participating together in forums and fostering synergies that will help empower citizens across the County.

View more photos of this event here.

read more