NHIF Cancer Coverage in Kenya

National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Kenya covers treatment for all types of Cancer for the members. NHIF starts paying Sh5 million for cancer treatment in foreign Hospitals in India. NHIF premium is also increased from Sh320 to Sh1,700 based on annual income of members.

Currently, only those in the public service and the military are eligible for this perk. Now that it is open, we want to make sure that all of our members can receive care overseas when it is not offered locally.

Currently 10,000 patients travel per year from Kenya to India for different medical treatments. 6,000 Patients travel for Cancer Treatment in India, 2,000 patients travel for organ transplants like Kidney and Liver, many patients travel for Bone Marrow transplant, other disease like Heart, Neurosurgery, etc.

A chance to undergo treatment abroad will allow many NHIF members to avoid the lengthy waits for radiotherapy at Kenyatta, which frustrates many of them. Additionally, NHIF is in discussions with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospitals and KNH to assist them in purchasing radiation equipment to address the situation.To qualify for the funding, a patient will require a letter of proof from the Director of Medical Services.

After the NHIF insurance boosted contribution rates in an action that was roundly condemned earlier this year, the funding for international treatment will be the latest advantage enjoyed by NHIF card members.

NHIF Radiation Therapy Costs in Kenya

Radiation Therapy in Kenya Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Radiation Oncology $5,422 Ksh 630,587
Rapid Arc with IGRT $6,139 Ksh 718,690
Rapid Arc with IGRT for prostate cancer $6,118 Ksh 718,215
Rapid Arc with IMRT $6,101 Ksh 700,113
Rapid Arc with IMRT for prostate cancer $6,298 Ksh 717,741
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) Novalis Tx Frameless $6,374 Ksh 814,894
Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRS) Novalis Tx with Frame $6,795 Ksh 725,369

NHIF Chemotherapy Cost in Kenya

Chemotherapy in Kenya Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Alkylating Agents $1,220 Ksh 142,400
Plant Alkaloids $986 Ksh 132,320
Antitumor Antibiotics $1,116 Ksh 159,520
Antimetabolites $1,204 Ksh 152,480
Topoisomerase Inhibitors $1,256 Ksh 166,720
Hormonal agents $1,328 Ksh 135,360
Biological response modifiers $1,292 Ksh 151,040
Miscellaneous Antineoplastics $1,168 Ksh 178,160
Mitotic Inhibitors $1,360 Ksh 135,200

NHIF Cancer Surgery Cost in Kenya

Cancer Surgery in Kenya Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Bladder Cancer Treatment $4,170 Ksh 534,373
Bone Cancer Treatment $4,298 Ksh 523,734
Brachytherapy for prostate cancer $4,154 Ksh 452,457
Brain Cancer Treatment $6,190 Ksh 630,761
Breast Cancer Treatment $5,028 Ksh 455,331
Cervical Cancer Treatment $5,300 Ksh 565,970
Chemoembolization $3,280 Ksh 379,582
Chemotherapy $3,190 Ksh 184,791
Colon Cancer (CRC) Treatment $4,168 Ksh 432,137
CyberKnife $5,188 Ksh 638,525
Cyberknife for Prostate Cancer $5,216 Ksh 617,886
Esophagus Cancer Treatment $5,186 Ksh 556,289
Fractionated Stereotactic Radiation Therapy $6,362 Ksh 731,400
Green Light Laser PVP Surgery $6,332 Ksh 669,803
HIFU $5,268 Ksh 432,137
HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) for prostate cancer $5,382 Ksh 431,818
Head & Neck Oncology $3,252 Ksh 350,221
Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) $6,518 Ksh 680,122
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) $7,162 Ksh 721,400
Kidney Cancer Treatment $5,028 Ksh 535,331
Liver Cancer Treatment $6,314 Ksh 545,651
Lung Cancer Treatment $3,242 Ksh 535,012
Malignancy Surgery $5,398 Ksh 483,734
Medical Oncology $4,252 Ksh 370,221
Oral Cancer Treatment $3,324 Ksh 380,860
Ovarian Cancer Treatment $4,356 Ksh 514,692
Pancreatic Cancer Treatment $5,214 Ksh 565,651
Prostate Cancer Treatment $5,258 Ksh 576,928
Skull Base Surgery $5,234 Ksh 732,039
Stomach Cancer Treatment $7,350 Ksh 773,955
Surgical Oncology $4,358 Ksh 586,928
Uterine Cancer Treatment $5,614 Ksh 535,651
Whipple’s Procedure $5,628 Ksh 515,331

The modality has a significant impact on the price of cancer treatment. Most of the patients that were reviewed underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and palliative care. The price of cancer treatment changed depending on the type of cancer. Patients receiving only chemotherapy on average paid KES 138,207 (USD 1364.3) per patient, whereas those receiving surgery and radiotherapy typically paid KES 128,207 (USD 1265.6) and KES 119,036 (USD 119.03), respectively (1175.1). Some patients combined all three, which resulted in costs averaging KES 333,462 (3291.8) per patient for the entire year.

Radiotherapy Services in Kenya

Facility Ownership Radiotherapy Brachytherapy
Kenyatta National Hospital Public 3 1
Kenyatta University Hospital Public 1 0
Aga Khan University Hospital Private 2 1
Nairobi Hospital Private 2 1
Cancer Care Kenya-HCG Private 2 0
Texas Cancer Centre Private 2 0
Equra Cancer Centre, Eldoret Private 1 1
Nairobi West Hospital Private 1 0

Chemotherapy Services in Kenya

Public sector

  • 2 National referral hospitals
  • 10 county referral hospitals (Mombasa, Meru, Nyeri, Embu, Garissa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kakamega, Machakos and Bomet)

Widely available in faith-based and private hospitals Growing workforce to provide chemotherapy services Chemotherapy services part of the NHIF benefit package

  • 1st line regimens- up to Ksh 150,000;
  • 2nd line regimens- Up to Ksh 600,000

Cancer Training Institutes

  • Radiation Oncology: University of Nairobi (September 2019)
  • Medical oncology fellowship
    • University of Nairobi-since 2016)
    • Moi University- potential for 2019
  • Gynae-oncology fellowship- Moi University; University of Nairobi
  • Oncology Nursing training programmes
    • Higher National Diploma- Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital
    • University of Nairobi- MSc
  • Training for Clinical Officers-HND at MTRH
  • Training of Radiotherapy technicians- Degree programme at JKUAT

Best Oncologists availability in Kenya


Cadre Available
Medical Oncologists 16
Radiation/Clinical oncologists 17
Paediatric oncologists 4
Oncology Pharmacists 9
Oncology Nurses 35
Medical Physicists 10
Nuclear medicine physicians 3

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