NCCK in Embu Calls for Resolution to Medical Workers’ Strike and Highlights Concerns Over Health Insurance Transition

Embu – The Embu branch of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has expressed deep concern over the prolonged strike by medical workers and the consequent impact on the underprivileged. The clergy lamented the deadlock between the government and healthcare professionals, which has persisted for more than three weeks, causing widespread distress among the population.

According to Kenya News Agency, there is also growing unease regarding the shift from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to the proposed Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF). This transition has been met with resistance from some private healthcare providers, who are now declining NHIF cards, leaving patients in a precarious position.

During a gathering at the Mwamba Imara NICA church in Gakwegori, Embu, where new NCCK office bearers were elected, church leaders underscored the necessity for comprehensive public education on the SHIF scheme. They emphasized that citizens must fully understand what the new system entails before its implementation.

The clergy also voiced their frustration with the government’s inaction in addressing the escalating cost of living, which has severely affected the affordability of basic needs for many families. They highlighted the disconnect between the legislative agenda and the public’s outcry over economic hardship, noting that none of the nine bills currently before Parliament, resulting from the NADCO talks, tackle the pressing issue of living costs.

Adding to their concerns were reports of adulterated or counterfeit fertilizers in the market, undermining efforts to combat food insecurity. The NCCK called for stringent legal action against those involved in this scandal to preserve the integrity of agricultural initiatives.

The council also appealed for public support for their expanded NCCK Scholarship program, suggesting a contribution of Sh1.50 from individuals’ daily airtime as a way to fund educational opportunities for needy students.

The assembly concluded with the election of new office bearers: Bishop Stephen Njogu as chairman, Salvation Army Major Paul Kyalo as vice chairman, Rev Captain Tabitha Kariuki as secretary, with Bishop Patrick Mureithi serving as the honorary treasurer. Phyllis Wandiri was elected women representative, while Claire Njageh and Nancy Gatumu will represent youth and persons with disabilities, respectively.