Patients suffering from chronic renal failure can now get kidney transplant procedures covered by the community-based health insurance scheme (CBHI) commonly known as Mutuelle de Santé, it has emerged. As of January 28, 2024, 18 successful kidney transplant surgeries were performed at King Faisal Hospital (KFH), according to data from the Kigali-based hospital. As of today, King Faisal Hospital has witnessed 18 successful Kidney Transplant surgeries. For heart surgery over 175 individuals, including both adults and children have undergone successful operation across the country.@RwandaHealthMag — King Faisal Hospital Rwanda (@kfaisalhospital) January 28, 2024 According to the Ministry of Health, kidney transplant services started being offered at the hospital in May 2023. The Head of the CBHI Department at Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), Alexis Rulisa, told The New Times that Mutuelle de Santé would have started covering the renal treatment at the hospital from the time it was introduced in the country. But, he noted, the first patients who received kidney transplant surgeries at KFH got them under the support of King Faisal Hospital Foundation, which covered the cost on their behalf. ALSO READ: Fourteen patients have received kidney transplants in Rwanda – Nsanzimana For the next patients, Rulisa said, they will have such a service covered by their respective insurances, including RAMA (workers’ medical insurance scheme), MMI (Military Medical Insurance), and Mutuelle de Santé. “Kidney transplant was included [in Mutuelle de Santé],” he said. Beatrice Uwifashije, a mother whose 16-year-old daughter is suffering from kidney disease, welcomed the development, saying that it lightens the burden of kidney transplant expenses. “It is helpful and laudable,” she said. ALSO READ: Kidney transplant: How to manage the procedure On February 5, officials from the Ministry of Health and RSSB told lawmakers that the government was looking for more funding to ensure that the expansion of healthcare services covered by Mutuelle de Santé does not result in the collapse of the scheme due to funding deficit. They indicated that the expansion concerned services including costly ones such as kidney transplant surgeries and cancer treatment, as well as a wider access to assistive devices such as prostheses for people with disabilities, and was expected to be fully implemented starting 2025. The officials were responding to healthcare access issues exposed by the report of the National Commission for Human Rights for the fiscal year 2022/2023. RSSB Deputy CEO Louise Kanyonga told parliamentarians that the inclusion of such services in Mutuelle de Santé could lead to a Rwf17 billion loss in the next three years, if no more finance is secured for the scheme’s sustainability. To avert such a situation, she said, RSSB was working with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Health to collect contributions from more sources of funding such as banks and general insurance as financial subsectors. From the new sources of revenue, the government could get Rwf25 billion or Rwf28 billion, annually, to finance the scheme.