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Kambua asks Government to expedite free maternity program

Gospel artiste Kambua Maundu has advocated for the continuation of Kenya’s free maternity program, ‘Linda Mama,’ urging the government to ensure its sustainability.

Highlighting the significant impact the program has had on pregnant women, she expressed her concern for the future of maternal healthcare in the country.

In a heartfelt post following the International Women’s Day celebrations, Kambua reminisced about the inception of the initiative in 2013 by former First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, under the #beyondzero campaign. The program, initially known as the Free Maternity Services (FMS), was later integrated into the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) as ‘Linda Mama,’ catering to pregnant women from low-income backgrounds.

“Following the celebrations of IWD, my heart is overwhelmingly sad for the women of Kenya. In 2013, our former First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta through #beyondzero started a free maternity program. The FMS was adopted into NHIF under the name LINDA MAMA,” she wrote

“Linda Mama covers pregnancy and three months post-delivery for women of low income,” Kambua emphasized, underlining its crucial role in reducing maternal and infant mortality rates. She shared anecdotes of individuals who have benefited from the program, even in emergency cesarean sections, illustrating its life-saving impact.

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Expressing dismay at the prospect of discontinuing such a vital service, Kambua posed pertinent questions to the government, urging them to allocate necessary funds to uphold the program’s operations. “I have known people who have greatly benefited from this- even in cases of emergency CS. Linda Mama has in effect significantly reduced maternal and infant mortality rates. Now tell me, WHY anyone would think of scraping this off? Can the government offer the money owed to hospitals to ensure that the program continues to run?” she questioned.

Addressing concerns from last year regarding rumors of Linda Mama’s discontinuation, the NHIF reaffirmed the program’s active status, reassuring the public of its ongoing benefits. “NHIF wishes to assure the public that the cover is still active as mothers continue to benefit massively. The fund therefore urges the public to ignore the false message shared online,” the NHIF stated in a release.

Kambua’s advocacy sheds light on the importance of sustaining initiatives like Linda Mama, which not only provide essential healthcare but also contribute significantly to the well-being of mothers and infants across the nation. As discussions on maternal health persist, her call to action resonates with many, urging stakeholders to prioritize and safeguard programs that safeguard maternal and infant welfare.