Deputy President William Ruto has welcomed a move by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to negotiate a Covid-19 insurance cover for its members.
The announcement by the employer is a relief for the teachers who continue to bear the brunt of the virus with a number of them losing their lives in the line of duty.
Some schools have reported an outbreak of the pandemic since the phased reopening of basic learning institutions in October.
“Cognisant of the important role teachers are playing as we grapple with this pandemic, I wish to announce that TSC has negotiated with teachers medical provider, for teachers to be covered for all Covid-19 related illnesses,” said TSC boss Dr Nancy Macharia, who spoke on Monday at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.
However, the DP is challenging the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to consider reviewing its position and extend the same cover to learners ahead of full school reopening in January.
The national insurer has maintained it would no longer foot medical bills for Covid-19 patients saying it was not financially viable owing to exorbitant bills.
“We commend TSC for including COVID 19 insurance cover for its members. NHIF should emulate TSC by extending a similar cover to its members, especially students who are set to resume school “tweeted the DP.
The government in 2018 launched a Sh 4.5 billion comprehensive medical cover through NHIF to cater for all students in public secondary schools.
Ruto said all available resources should be mobilized to enable NHIF to meet the obligation.
Macharia said teachers are the frontline soldiers in the education sector and have been playing a critical role in managing hundreds of students who have resumed learning.