Social Media Spat Exposes Gap on NHIF Consumer Education

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Consumer education or better still, public education can be done effectively by social media platforms. This is why governments, NGOs and private companies have opened official accounts to make statements to the public about issues that are linked to them. If done correctly, it can prove to be an invaluable reliable source of information for the public with little or no cost to the party involved.

A while back, there was a campaign on Twitter thanks to a blog post by Biko Zulu where people contributed money to Jadudi for medical reasons, which in fact was a very noble gesture by Twitter folk. However, today new information was uncovered that NHIF, the state provider for health insurance footed the bill for Jadudi.

This information caused a frenzy on Twitter due to the fact that people contributed over 7 million shillings and the general view is that the money was used for his treatment in entirety. This revelation led to some questions being raised like if the NHIF actually pays for your medical bills when you are outside the country or can NHIF complement my other medical insurance provider or if the money was embezzled in any way.

Zawadi Nyong’o was at the centre of the social media campaign that led to the fundraising efforts for Jadudi so naturally people turned to her for answers on Twitter. She explained the situation via a series of tweets after the revelation NHIF had paid Jadudi’s medical bills by confirming that they paid medical expenses they were responsible for.

There was another person who laid out the situation from start till present on a thread  where he talked about the hurdles Jadudi faced before NHIF paid his bills.

This would have been a golden opportunity for NHIF to set itself at the centre of the conversation, separate oranges from the lemons, give concrete information about the case and answer any burning questions from people. This was not the case unfortunately since the last time NHIF had activity on their Twitter account was 6 days ago. In the midst of an information void, people started tweeting about certain packages the national medical insurance scheme provider offers which most people seemed didn’t know they existed

https://twitter.com/GicheruGicheru/status/656781596188659713

https://twitter.com/GicheruGicheru/status/656788732020957184

t is ironical that the government had lad promised to ramp up its social media presence across the different departments and and this would have been a great opportunity to give information about the services they offer to the general public. The government can use social media effectively in their efforts to educate the public on certain services government agencies offer and it is upto them to embrace this so as to prevent misinformation in the future.

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