Community celebrates the two year anniversary of the health insurance program in Shonga
On Friday the 30th of January, around 400 excited community members celebrated the two year anniversary of the community health insurance scheme in Kwara State. A day filled with lots of laughs, a raffle draw, speeches and the launch of the ‘Community Health Association’ (CHA). According to Hanneke Peeters, Project Manager of PharmAccess in Nigeria, this whole setup and atmosphere showed that over the last year the scheme has really become theirs: ‘more and more its turning into a community-owned program.’ Besides the big crowd, a delegation from Kwara State Government, Hygeia Community Health Plan (HCHP) and PharmAccess and his highness, the Emir of Shonga Emirate were present as well.
This community-owned development was further emphasised by the highlight of the day: the launch of the ‘Community Health Association’ (CHA). This association is set up for all (re-)enrolees of the scheme, who automatically become a member of CHA. CHA will initially organise monthly raffles, health education programs and will, in the future, provide other benefits for its members as well. Thus, by generating involvement the association hopes to strengthen this commitment of the community to the program even more.
For the Health Insurance Fund it is great to see that the Shonga Community Health Service Scheme has in two years time become so well accepted in the community. It implies that it is becoming a truly demand driven scheme, in other words, the community is gaining trust in the healthcare system. The clinics in Shonga have therefore seen a major rise in the number of patient visits.
A raffle draw and prices
Young raffle drawer presents winning ID
During the day a raffle draw led to quite some excitement. Everyone present with an insurance enrolment card could participate in the raffle draw. A big crowd ran forwards at once, waving the cards in their hands, almost attacking the HCHP staff to make sure they were not left out.
And last, the HCHP made the day complete by handing out prices. Families and communities with the highest (re-)enrolment numbers in 2008 were given presents. The Shonga community received an Okada motorcycle for the highest enrolment rate and the Bacita community was also presented with a motorcycle for the highest re-enrolment rate.
Okada motor donated to Shonga community