Call to raise public awareness on joining community health fund

PUBLIC and religious leaders in the country have been asked to raise public awareness on the importance of households enrolling for Community Health Fund (CHF)/National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to reduce the risks of dying due to lack of health care.

The call was made in Dar es Salaam at the just-ended multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Community Health Fund implementation amongst pastoralist communities organized by the Agency for Corporation and Research in Development (ACORD).

NHIF Community Fund Manager, Mr Constantine Makala, said the government had set a goal for every municipal council to attain 30 per cent enrollment of the country’s 2012 census.

“The figure of those registering themselves voluntarily with the health scheme is still low due to lack of awareness from the grass-roots level,” said Mr Makala.

He called on leaders to address the issue as one of the agendas in their discussions with members of their communities.

Mr Makala pointed out that the health scheme has exempted some of the people receiving the services from paying CHF contributions.

“The biggest challenges that we are facing is the uncontrolled increase of drug prices due to lack of a regulatory body on pricing and improper utilization of reimbursement from NHIF and CHF funds by local governments authorities to address shortage of medicines,” he noted.

The Country Coordinator of ACORD, Mr Lokola Ndibalema, said they were implementing a three-year project in Ngorongoro district focusing on the increase of integrated sexual and reproductive health services and information for women and adolescent girls in pastoralist communities.

“Among key interventions of the project is to promote implementation of the Community Health Fund for the poor and vulnerable groups by raising awareness on its benefits,” he said.

ACORD is an international non-governmental organization working for social justice and development in 17 countries in Africa.

In Tanzania the NGO is implementing various development projects in Mwanza, Geita, Kagera and Arusha regions.

Originally written on Tanzania Daily News

  • health
  • pastoralism
  • sexual and reproductive health
  • tanzania