Parents Advocate for Alternative Health Plan Following Removal of EduAfya Scheme

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In a recent development, parents, represented by the National Parents Association (NPA), are urging the government to provide an alternative health plan for students after the removal of the EduAfya scheme. The NPA chairperson, David Silas Obuhatsa, expressed concern about the potential impact on economically challenged parents who benefited from the program, emphasizing the need for clear alternatives to safeguard the health of children from financially struggling families.

Key Points:

  1. Removal of EduAfya Scheme:
    • The EduAfya scheme, which has been in operation for the past four years, was terminated following the enactment of the Universal Health Act. The recent changes in the new Act did not include the scheme in the new Social Health Insurance Fund (SHIF), managed by the Social Health Authority (SHA), replacing the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).
  2. Call for Alternative Health Plan:
    • The National Parents Association, led by David Silas Obuhatsa, is urging the government to provide a clear and effective alternative health plan for students. The EduAfya scheme played a crucial role in assisting economically disadvantaged parents who couldn’t afford their children’s medical expenses.
  3. Support from School Principals:
    • The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) has joined the call for the government to ensure the continuity of health programs for students. KESSHA emphasized that the termination of the program, which occurred on December 31, 2023, was ill-advised, and there is a need for ongoing support to maintain the health and well-being of students.
  4. Arrangements for School Fees Arrears:
    • NPA is encouraging parents with school fees arrears to engage with school administrations to work out payment modalities. The association is appealing to school principals not to send students home due to fee balances, recognizing the challenges faced by parents and emphasizing the importance of collaboration in resolving financial issues.
  5. Support for Junior School Teachers:
    • NPA is expressing support for Junior School teachers and urges them to continue their duties while the government works on a roadmap to convert their positions to permanent and pensionable terms. The association acknowledges the government’s position that funding constraints exist, and permanent terms may be feasible by January 2025.

Conclusion:

The call for an alternative health plan underscores the importance of addressing the immediate health needs of students, especially those from economically vulnerable backgrounds, in the absence of the EduAfya scheme. Collaborative efforts between parents, school administrations, and the government are crucial in finding effective solutions and ensuring the well-being of students across the country.

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