Report: Teachers have given birth to 80,000 babies in five years

About 80,000 babies have been born under the teachers’ multibillion-shilling medical scheme in the last five years.

The teachers are entitled to a maternity cover of between Sh100,000 and Sh200,000 annually. Maternity cover was previously capped at Sh75,000.

A status report of the cover also reveals details of childbearing visits and the number of births per county.

Details of the cover also show that in cases where female teachers have fully exhausted their maternity cover, they have another pool of between Sh15,000 and Sh40,000 to draw from.

“For the past six years, we have seen some 117,000 maternity visitations and birth across all our facilities,” said Minet Kenya Chief Executive, Sammy Muthui.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) contracted Minet on July 1, 2015, to manage the medical scheme.

Finer details in the report reveal that Uasin Gishu County leads in the number of births, with 12,251 children born since the scheme was rolled out.

Nakuru County is second with 6,991 births as Nairobi ranks third with some 6,396 babies born.

Bungoma County is fourth with 4,988 births as Kiambu closed the top five counties with 3,783 births.

Other counties that have had higher births registered are Meru with 3,402, Kisumu with 2,975, Kwale (2,128), Kisii (2,119) and Embu closing the top 10 category with 2,070 births.

Counties with the least births are Turkana with no baby born since the scheme’s inception, West Pokot has five births and Elgeyo Marakwet has seven babies born under the scheme.

Nyandarua County has only had eight new births, Samburu 14, Wajir (88), Isiolo (100), Marsabit (174), Baringo (257) and Kirinyaga with 260.

Among the Coast counties, Lamu has had 266 births, and Taita Taveta 278.

Overall, the report reveals that a total of 74,595 babies have been born under the cover since 2016.

During the first year, 2016/2017, the report shows that a total of 22,226 babies were born nationally.

In the second year of implementation of the scheme, 16,930 babies were born during the 2017/18 year.

And in 2018/19, the report shows that 13,532 babies were born. Another 11,157 babies were born in 2019/2020. And under 2020/21, some 10,750 babies have been born.

“Previously, teachers earned a monthly medical allowance of between Sh954 and Sh4,412. Clearly, this was not adequate to give teachers better healthcare,” said Macharia.

Under the enhanced cover, inpatient cover ranges between Sh750,000 and Sh2.5 million.

The outpatient cover is now capped at between Sh100,000 and Sh375,000 across job groups. Other improved benefits are under optical cover, for which teachers and their dependents have a total of Sh45,000.

Dental cover is presently capped at a flat rate of Sh35,000. The scheme also offers overseas treatment and transport costs for the accompanying person.

The report shows that since the medical cover was rolled out, female beneficiaries have visited hospitals 117,000 times for maternity services.

During the first year, only 3,968 maternity visits were recorded across the facilities. The visitations went up to 13,169 in 2017.

In 2018, data shows that some 24,186 maternity cases were registered. A slight drop was noted in 2019 and 2020 when only 19,331 and 16,353 maternity cases were registered.

The cases again went up to 39,503 this year, signalling a major leap in maternity cases under the care.

“As we continue to roll out wellness programmes, we have noted that teachers are getting healthier and many are getting more comfortable to sire babies,” said Muthui.

The wellness programme includes any activity designed to support better health and to improve health outcomes for all beneficiaries.

“These programmes include medical screenings that aim to prevent chronic conditions; activities that also promote emotional and psychological well-being and stress management,” said Muthui.

Overall, since 2016, teachers and their dependents have visited hospitals to seek medical care 12 million times.

These visits include inpatient, outpatient, dental and optical treatment, and maternity and delivery benefits.

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