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NHIF addresses claims that Linda Mama program was scrapped

NHIF clarifies claims that the Linda Mama program, which provides free maternity services was withdrawn.

NHIF offices

The National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) has clarified claims that the Linda Mama program, which provides maternity services was withdrawn.

The national health insurance provider took to Twitter to confirm that the public insurance program for women was still in operation and to debunk false claims on social media.

Attention is drawn to recent false social media messages purporting the discontinuity of the government-funded Linda Mama program.

NHIF wishes to assure the public that the cover is still active as mothers continue to benefit massively. So far, over 6 million mothers have benefited from the cover since its inception in 2017,” read a statement from the firm.

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The Linda Mama program provides expectant mothers with a one-year cover that includes four antenatal visits, delivery (either normal or by Caesarean section), three postnatal care visits, and vaccines for the child.

In 2013, the government implemented a Free Maternity Scheme, which eliminated user fees at public primary care facilities and made all deliveries in the public sector free of charge.

Rumours emanated from sections of Kenyans on social media who claimed that President William Ruto had scrapped the program alongside subsidies for maize flour, fuel and electricity.

During his New Years' eve speech, President Ruto said the government had saved billions after scrapping the subsidies.

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"When I came into office, I found that some decisions were made for political expediency because we had an election. The decisions about subsidies on fuel, maize flour and electricity were not informed by the science of our economy but by political expediency that existed at that moment," the head of state said while speaking at State House Mombasa.

"We had to do away with those subsidies or they would cost our economy big time. We would be spending close to Sh25 billion every month to subsidise some of these programmes. We did away with the subsidies in August and I am happy that we have saved our economy a huge amount of money and we are now well on the way to making sure that we are investing in areas that will drive our economy in a sustainable way," Ruto added.

The move has received both praise and criticism from Kenyans who have lamented over the high cost of living.

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