KENYA – Jaramogi Onginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) has launched Sickle cell and Haemophilia clinic to offer health insurance for people living with the two blood disorders.

The Kenya Haemophilia Association donated High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machine and physiotherapy equipment for the management of joint

They have also undertaken intensive training of Health Care Providers. Sensitization training of over 50 HCP from the 7 sub-counties and a 2-week intensive training of a Doctor, Nurse, and physiotherapist from JOOTRH at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

The trained HCP will be able to identify and refer patients for management to JOOTRH, bringing Haemophilia and SCD care closer.

The HPLC and physiotherapy equipment cost KSh4 million (US$ ), this will allow JOOTRH to provide SCD tests at an affordable rate.

Kenya has between 950 registered haemophilia patients out of an expected 5,000 and Tanzania has between 150 to 200 registered haemophilia patients out of an expected 5,900 (Kenya’s Population is approximately 50 million and Tanzania’s population is approximately 59 million).

According to the Ministry of Health Kenya and Tanzania, it is estimated that 6000 children in Kenya are born with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) annually. In Tanzania, 11,000 babies are born with sickle cell annually.

The launching occasion was graced by Kisumu County First Lady Mama Dorothy Nyong’o and the Deputy Director General for Health, Dr. Patrick Amoth who said that the government has set aside some six billion shillings for health insurance.

He said that registration for people living with disabilities was decentralized to the counties adding that people experiencing disability due to sickle Cell and Haemophilia can take advantage of the window and get registered even for tax exemptions.

Dr. Amoth added that already there are guidelines for the management of sickle Cell and haemophilia diseases that have been developed noting that the government will supply commodities and supplies to manage the two conditions.

Mama Dorothy Nyongo called on all and sundry to take up the sickle cell and hemophilia test before settling down in marriage, “This will be putting power back in your hands and allow you to make an informed decision.”

She said in the same breath appreciating partners who are working alongside to prevent the two diseases.

Only 26 percent of families who have relatives living with sickle Cell are on NHIF, this has made the disease impart a heavy economic burden to families with loved ones living as warriors.

A sickle cell patient suffers about 5 episodes of crisis annually each requiring hospitalization for at least ten days. On average 12 visits are made with relatives and friends during the period of hospitalization.

60 percent of patients attending the weekly consultant’s clinic pediatric clinic at JOOTRH have sickle cell, there is yet no continuum of care as one transit from pediatric to adolescent and adulthood.

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