NHIF has spent Sh1.36 billion this financial year on payments for breast cancer treatment, up from Sh1.23 billion spent in 2017.
In a statement on Wednesday, Judy Otele – Funds Assistant manager, said the amount was paid to beneficiaries through the Cover Membership package.
The package covers breast cancer patients through the diagnosis stage, treatment stage, surveillance stage and pet scans.
Otele said breast cancer is one of the top two cancers affecting women in Kenya and amongst the top four leading cancers treated by NHIF.
“There are 40,000 new cases annually as per the statistics given by the National Cancer institute of Kenya and 80 per cent of those diagnosed with cancer are covered by the Fund,” she said.
According to Globocan 2008, which is part of the WHO’s Agency for Research on Cancer, about 6,000 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Kenya this year.
October is the month of breast cancer awareness.
Otele said NHIF covers six sessions for the first line treatment for up to Sh25,000 per session, four sessions for the second and third line treatment for up to Sh150,000 per session and 20 sessions of radiotherapy at Sh3,600 per session.
She said they are looking into developing a wellness program to promote screening of not only cancer but also all other chronic illnesses.
Breast cancer symptoms include change in skin texture on the breast, retraction of nipple, discharge from nipple, a typical fullness, and lumps.
“Biopsy is covered by NHIF under the surgical package, and a minor surgery is covered up to Sh40,000. Radiology is also done during the diagnosis stage and this could include breast MRI, ultra sound, or CT-scan, which is also covered fully by NHIF,” Otele said.