U.N. Contractors in Kenya Unable to Secure Health Care Insurance, Including HIV Coverage, for Workers
September 30, 2003
Contractors who supply workers to the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya, have been unable to secure health care insurance, including HIV coverage, for their workers despite U.N. officials' claims that the problem had been resolved, the Boston Globe reports (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 9/29). The United Nations in July said that beginning in 2004 the organization will require contractors to provide an eight-point health and welfare package, including the provision of antiretroviral drugs, transportation subsidies and maternity leave, to any staff members who work at least half the week at the U.N. office in Nairobi. Under official U.N. policy, consultants and subcontractors do not receive medical coverage from the agency. The contracted workers perform jobs including maintenance, cleaning, landscaping and food services at the compound (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/23). Managers of the contracting companies last week said that they cannot find an insurance firm willing to provide coverage for HIV inpatient care and that the United Nations has refused their requests for help. Two contract company managers said they had contacted more than six insurance companies in Kenya and none was willing to write AIDS policies, according to the Globe. Nick Nuttall, spokesperson for the U.N. compound in Nairobi, said that U.N. negotiators were aware that "local insurance companies do not give HIV coverage. But the deal we have now is that the contractors must find a way to give HIV and AIDS coverage, or they won't get contracts. It's up to them to do it."
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.