Pregnant schoolgirls in Kenya won't get free medical cover


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JOHANNESBURG – Girls in Kenya who get pregnant in school will not benefit from free medical cover, National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) chief executive Geoffrey Mwangi has warned.

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NHIF said the free medical cover for students had not been factored into early pregnancies, the Daily Nation reported on Monday.

“If any of the secondary schoolgirls get pregnant they will not be covered by the NHIF. Those who want to be assisted may opt to look for other sources of funding or register with the ‘Linda Mama’ initiative,” Mwangi said.

The Linda Mama initiative is an expanded free maternal care programme for expectant mothers.

The secondary school medical cover recently rolled out by the government is only designed to take care of in-patient and outpatient illnesses.

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Teenage girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy is a continuing problem for Kenya.

Last December, a United Nations Population Fund reported that 378,000 teenage girls aged between 10 and 19 became pregnant between July 2016 and June last year in the East African country.