12.09.2004 Health

About 30,000 people registered under the Okwahuman Health Insurance

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Nkawkaw, Sept. 12, GNA - The Okwahuman Health Insurance Scheme (OHIS) had registered 29,290 people last year and collected 1.2 billion cedis as premium to cater for the healthcare of registered members in the Kwahu West and South Districts.

Out of the premium, 372.7 million cedis had been spent on 872 members who attended the Holy Family and the Kwahu Government Hospitals at Atibie, who were treated of various illnesses, including hernia and fibroid operations, snake and dog bites and Out-Patient-Department (OPD) attention as at June 2004.

This was announced by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Scheme, Nana Adarkwa Boadi Yiadom, II, Kwahu Prasohene, at the third annual general meeting of the Scheme at Nkawkaw on Friday.

He commended the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) for the assistance of 450 receipt and registration books and 95 million cedis for administrative expenses, while the Green Tropics, an NGO, also spent 32 million cedis as premium for 800 poor cocoa farmers.

The Okwahumanhene Daasebere Akuamoah Boateng, II, the MP for Nkawkaw, Mr Okerchiri Adusah and Mr Asomaning Castro, a board member of the Scheme, offered a total of 9.5 million cedis for the payment of the premium for 245 people.

The Board Chairman appealed for a vehicle to assist in the out-reach programme and an office building and other administrative assistance for the smooth operation of the scheme.

The Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, said the region registered 130 maternal deaths last year, while 68 deaths had been registered as at the end of July, this year and appealed for more sponsors to assist the poor and vulnerable to register to enable them to benefit from the Scheme.

He reminded the people of the benefit from the scheme and therefore, urged all residents in the two districts to register massively, now that they have extended the scheme to include the aged. Dr Appiah Denkyira advised Ghanaians to move from the tendency to show solidarity during bereavements and the acquisition of personnel effects and rather show solidarity towards the survival of one another by registering under the health insurance schemes in the country since the new package would include all out-patient attendance.

He said the Ghana Health Service would ensure access to quality health delivery through the regular supply of adequate drugs, equipment and personnel, ensure effective supervision at the hospitals, train more nurses and rehabilitate existing health facilities.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Dr Francis Osafo-Mensah in an address read on his behalf, said the establishment of Mutual Health Insurance Scheme throughout the country was part of the NPP manifesto to institute a more humane way of health care financing to replace the cash-and-carry system to ensure efficient and affordable health delivery system for the people.

He expressed concern about the over 100 percent increase in teenage pregnancies in the region over the year, which he noted, posed serious distortion in the Insurance Scheme and urged traditional authorities, heads of educational institutions and NGOs to co-operate to minimize the early exposure of teenagers to pre-marital sex which often pre-disposed them to sexually- transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDs. The Regional Minister said early sex also exposed teenagers to sexual violence, substance abuse, physical disorders and illegal abortions with fatal consequences which would not auger well for the scheme.

The Senior Programme Officer of DANIDA, Ms Helen Dzikunu, commended traditional and opinion leaders for their co-operation with the people, which had ensured the success of the scheme in the two districts. He gave the assurance that that DANIDA would continue with its technical support to the scheme to sustain it and urged all residents in the two districts to register to enhance their health needs.

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