The Linda Mama initiative is a public-funded health scheme by the government, targeted to help all expectant Kenyan mothers. It is a product of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) and guarantees expectant mothers antenatal, delivery, and postnatal checkups services. This initiative is aimed at reducing the maternal and child mortality rates in Kenya.
How to qualify for the Linda Mama cover
Mothers have to ensure that they register for the initiative for them to qualify. Failure to register will force the mother to pay for the services out of pocket. To qualify for this initiative, all mothers have to do is to register for an NHIF card and the government then contributes Kshs.6000 for every registered mother. Mothers are then entitled to healthcare for up to six months after delivery for themselves and their baby with no charge.
How to register for the Linda Mama cover
There are several ways to register for the Linda Mama cover. Mothers above 18 years use their ID cards to register while minors can use a guardian’s ID. Those without a national ID can also use an antenatal card to register. You can register through:
- A mobile phone by dialing *263# and following the instructions provided. Choose the free maternity option for the Linda Mama cover and pick up your card from an NHIF branch.
- The NHIF registration portal by following the instructions provided.
- NHIF service centres
- Huduma centres
- Contracted health providers who will direct you on how to register.
Once you have registered for the cover, you will be provided with an FMS number that you will use to claim the cover at any registered health facility. You can also contact NHIF on their toll-free number 0800720601 if you experience any problem with registration.
Benefits of the Linda Mama cover
There are numerous benefits of registering for the cover, the greatest one being that you get medical services for yourself and your baby at no cost. Here are other benefits of the cover.
Expectant mothers with the cover are entitled to the following tests and treatments:
- Blood group
- Serology (VDRL/RPR)
- Screening for tuberculosis (TB Screening)
- HIV testing including counseling and ARVs for those who test positive
- Hemoglobin levels (Hb)
- Tetanus toxoid
- Malaria prophylaxis
- Iron and Folate
Mothers with the cover will enjoy free delivery in any accredited hospital. The cover also covers for emergency CS for all registered mothers.
- Postnatal services
The cover also covers treatment for both the mother and the baby for up to 6 months after birth. It guarantees at least four focused personalized visits. It gives mothers access to supplements, family planning, and treatment or referral for complications. For the baby, it ensures access to immunization, treatment, or referral for any complications and supplements.
Where to use the cover
All public hospitals and select private hospitals accept the cover. If you will seek treatment in a private hospital, check with them if they accept the cover beforehand. After treatment patients have to fill a claim form so that NHIF can compensate the hospital.
As an expectant mother, you are encouraged to sign up for the cover to enjoy the benefits of free medical treatment for themselves and their babies.
By Beth Mugo