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VIABILITY OF ACCESSING HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE URBAN POOR THROUGH COMMUNITY BASED ORGANISATIONS: THE CASE OF KIBERA SLUMS

The aim of this research study was to determine the capacity of Community Based Organisations
(CBO) in provision of health insurance to the urban poor. This was a descriptive survey. It
focused on identifying the presence of factors that influence the success of Community Based
Health Insurance (CBHI) in the CBOs studied. The study was conducted within the sprawling
Kibera slums of Nairobi and was based on 91 CBOs as registered by the Kibera Division
Community Development Assistant (2007). The respondents were drawn from 31 CBOs sampled
from the 91 CBOs out of whom only one CBO failed to return the questionnaire delivered to
them by the researcher. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the relevant data which
was used to summarize the findings and draw conclusions. The rate of response was impressive
and data collected was used to draw meaningful conclusions and recommendations.
The study concluded that the CBOs within Kibera Slums posses the factors that influence the
success of CBHI. Members of some of the CBOs were found to have health insurance cover
mostly through micro finance organisations such as savings and credit societies where individual
CBOs join as corporate members to enhance the saving capacity and accessibility to credit
facilities. All individual CBO studied, however, faced the problem of lack of adequate volume of
exposure and acknowledged financial constrains and poverty as the major impediments to their
growth. The level of members contributions for at least two third of the CBOs was adequate to
sustain CBHI.
The study recommends that the CBOs cooperate with each other by coming together to form
larger CBOs that would have adequate volumes or join the conglomeration of CBOs that are
already offering CBHI besides other activities. Deliberate measures also have to be taken to
assist the CBOs alleviate poverty among other risk control measures while the government and
other agents should put more effort in improving the health facilities in the slums and partner
with CBOs in health financing.

 

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