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Health Insurance, the key to Healthcare Sustainability

CHT’s initial approach to fundraising for Lifelong care – Jan-Oct,2023

Child-Help Tanzania initially held a tree planting fundraiser campaign that lasted from January to October, 2023. The goal was extensive, to provide lifelong care for children with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. With each tree donated, a child would receive essential life-long care services including health insurance, education, economic empowerment, assistive devices, etc. CHT succeeded to plant 42 trees. The trees were planted in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, with named tree tags pegged beside the trees as dedication to their respective donors.

CHT acknowledged that, although it was a fair goal of securing a better future for the children, despite good intention, it had ambitious expectations that overlooked high costs associated with the whole spectrum of life-long care services. Therefore, CHT decided to take a prioritized approach.

Expert’s intervention suggests a new strategic approach, prioritizes Health Insurance.

Expert’s Intervention Suggests a New Strategic Approach

CHT later decided to look at the matter in a more professional point of view after seeking expert advice from a fundraising consultant, Mr. Omar Msonga from Heinz Consultancy. “While discussing the issue with my team, we went back a few years to reflect on past endeavors, we we ended up discovering a missing piece of the puzzle, the key to a sustainable future for the SBH community, the health insurance issue.” said CHT’s Director, Mr. Hakim

Mr. Omar stated the following during preparations for the new fundraising campaign proposal: “Due to advancements in medicine and technology over the past 40 years, the predicted lifespan of a child born with this disability has improved considerably. The focus of treatment now lies in the ongoing medical and rehabilitative management of the disability, including multiple and complex neurological, surgical, orthopedic, gastrointestinal, and urological surgical procedures, as well as long-term use of orthotic aids and mobility devices and ongoing physiotherapy regimens. Healthcare access is the core challenge for People with Physical Disability (PWPDs), which needs attention. PWPDs have their own health needs related to their impairments, such as physical medicine and rehabilitation. Although healthcare access is a fundamental human right, many barriers to accessing healthcare services among PWPDs have been reported. Cost is often one of the critical barriers. There is evidence that half of PWPDs (51-53%) cannot afford healthcare costs, while for people without disability, the proportion is only one third (32-33%). Equally, the report shows that most PWPDs live in extreme poverty in Tanzania.”

Regardless of the efforts made by the government of Tanzania and various stakeholders to improve access to healthcare services for PWPDs (IDS, 2020), it is still inaccessible to children with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida and other disabilities. To address this issue, Child-Help Tanzania has proposed a Tree Planting Fundraiser Campaign aimed at raising TZS 58,000,000 (about USD 23,000 USD) to provide health insurance for 100 infants with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida from poor families. The project will involve planting 1,220 trees in public spaces, schools, and health centers and will be implemented in Dar es Salaam Region.