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SISDO Afya Product Launched

SISDO Afya Tele:
The drastic rise in the cost of healthcare in the country is making life unbearable for majority of Kenyans, particularly the low-income earners. According to insurers, the cost of healthcare has been rising by at least of 20 per cent annually over the past three years due to rising prices in drugs and hospital equipment. In a country with about 40 million people, the situation is dire considering that only 700,000 Kenyans have medical insurance cover largely provided by employers according to the 2009 national census. This begs the question, where and how do majority of Kenyans procure and pay for healthcare? While the government has tried to make healthcare accessible to Kenyans through a cost sharing program in public hospitals, the lack of enough facilities and congestion means that many are forced to go to these facilities due to lack of an alternative and because they cannot afford decent hospitals.

However, it does not mean that low-income earners must always be banished to a life of squalor mainly because one cannot afford to access proper healthcare in the best hospitals. This, indeed, is something that SISDO clearly understands. For many years, SISDO has been helping  uplift the livelihood of low income Kenyans in urban and rural areas by providing them with financial services. While most of them use the small loans extended by SISDO to finance small businesses and ventures to uplift their lives, the money often get diverted if a member of the family falls sick. “We noticed that some clients diverted the money to cater for medical expenses when a family member fell sick,” states Charles Obala Obonyo, Training and Marketing Manager at SISDO.

This prompted SISDO to establish a medical cover product dubbed SISDO Afya that enables its clients to cater for the health needs of themselves and immediate family members, thus eliminating the possibility of loans meant for business expansion being diverted to cater for medical expenses. In partnership with Britam, SISDO is helping its members to finance medical cover that can enable them access both inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in some of the best hospitals in the country. “This product is transforming lives. It has enabled our clients to concentrate on their businesses while we take care of their health,” explains Obonyo.

One of the beneficiaries of SISDO Afya is Khadija Doka, a business lady in Kibera. Since 2005 when she was introduced to SISDO by a friend, Mrs Doka has been a member of SISDO and has benefited immensely in expanding her businesses. Through loans procured from SISDO, she has been able to invest in rental houses in Kibera, bought a matatu and a taxi, businesses that have helped boost her life. Therefore, when SISDO introduced the medical cover, Mrs Doka was among the first to sign in to the product. “SISDO Afya has helped us because it enables us to go to hospitals and get good medical care,” she explains, adding that when any member of her family falls sick she does not need to worry anymore. “My life has become easy in medical terms because I just need the SISDO Afya card.”

Mrs Doka says that every week she pays Sh300 for the medical cover, which translates to KSh1,200 per month. For this small amount she’s able to be covered for up to KSh.200,000 together with her husband and three children for both inpatient and outpatient medical care. With the SISDO Afya card, she can visit hospitals like Coptic, Guru Nanak among others that have a partnership with SISDO. “These days she states and urges other low income people to take advantage of the product in order to have the peace of mind required to concentrate in their businesses..

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