Patients with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) want the national government to allow them benefit from the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHF) to ease their burden of the high cost of treatment.
Fredrick Ogeto, in charge of the Diseases, Kisii Chapter said some NCD patients buy expensive drugs to manage their conditions while some require much money to treat diseases like cancer and epilepsy.
The officer, flanked by community health volunteers – Nancy Bosibori, Lameck Ongwae and Olipha Nyamweya were speaking at a Kisii hotel during the marking of the World Cancer and Epilepsy Day slated to be celebrated on February 2 and 8.
He said they combined the celebration since they could not mark the Days on the dates due to the challenges of Covid 19, which affected stakeholders.
He implored parents and guardians not to hide children with epilepsy and autism and instead take them to schools and hospitals so that they can be assisted like other normal children.
“Some parents think that epileptic or autistic children are a curse and hide them until their conditions get worse. Even some Health workers link it to evil spirits and refer parents to church leaders for spiritual support,” Ogeto said.
Ongwae, who handles Epileptic patients, said some parents of the patients associate it with witchcraft and abandon them until their conditions get worse and even die.
“The condition is treatable. We have cases where patients experienced three attacks per day and have reduced to one after they were treated,” Ongwae said, stressing epilepsy is a neural disease.
Some epileptic cases were unknown since parents and guardians were unwilling to expose the patients to community health volunteers and workers for support, adding it was difficult for the workers to trace them.
The Volunteer appealed to the County government to avail drugs for the epileptic patients in the sub-county health facilities so that they can access them easily and ease their suffering.
“The patients go to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital to get drugs. They travel from cub counties and buy the drugs at Ksh. 300 every month,” Ongwae said.
He said some patients are poor and cannot afford to travel to the Referral hospital every month to buy the drugs, adding some avoid and suffer silently.