Nakuru, Tuesday June 5, 2018
A lobby group has faulted the NHIF directive that girls in public secondary schools who get pregnant will not benefit from the free medical cover, which was introduced at the beginning of the year.
Speaking today during a press conference, the Chairman of Grass Root Constitution Defender (GCD), Edward Maina, said the argument by the NHIF Chief Executive, that the free medical cover for students had not factored in early pregnancies, was an abuse of the constitution.
“That directive by the NHIF Chief Executive Officer has abused Article 1, 3(1), 10, 22, 23 25 and 27 of the constitution, by putting a caveat against early school pregnancies while at school,” said Maina.
Maina vowed to sue NHIF if the directive was not rescinded immediately because it has abused the fundamental rights of the young mothers, who sometimes become expectant through rape.
He said the NHIF CEO, Geoffrey Mwangi, should be sent packing and the caveat against free medical cover be removed.
He added that, urging the girls who get pregnant to apply for ‘Linda Mama’ initiative was showing outright discrimination among boys and girls, unless the CEO comes up with an aspect which can only befall boys in school and cannot be covered by NHIF.
“Just because a girl can become pregnant while in school does not make her less of a student, in fact they require better care and protection by NHIF, because they are young and immature,” he said.
Meanwhile, a directive to withdrawal of NHIF coverage for early pregnancies was widely covered in the local media yesterday.
Maina added that the role of the constitution, more than anything, was to protect the weak in society, and whenever such people were discriminated, the importance of a country’s constitution gets watered down.