Western Ankole Tweragurize Schemes’ Association (WATSA)

Western Ankole Tweragurize Schemes’ Association (WATSA) is a Union that brings together, under a single umbrella, all Community Health Insurance (CHI) Schemes formed by Save for Health Uganda (SHU) and locally known as Tweragurize schemes in Western Ankole. It was formed in May 2011 by Save for Health Uganda in collaboration with 10 CHI schemes that had already been formed.

SHU, the promoting agency of CHI schemes, found it necessary to form a union (WATSA) so as to unite all the CHI schemes to achieve their goal by increasing the pooling levels, managing a joint account, contracting and purchasing health care services, increasing visibility and having a bigger recognition and voice in advocating for quality health care services.

WATSA is mandated to operate in the five districts of Western Ankole (Bushenyi, Sheema, Mitooma, Rubirizi and Buhweju). It is registered in the three districts of Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma where it currently operates.

The union currently supports 27 running schemes with 644 households and 3,429 beneficiaries in the three districts.

Mission

To ease further the access to quality health care services of beneficiaries in member schemes through strengthening WATSA as a network, networking the member schemes, coordinating stakeholders, advocating for quality health care services, directly managing individual and collective technical roles in schemes and at network level and empowering member schemes to function well.

Vision

A network of self sustaining Community Health Insurance schemes in Western Ankole.

Future plans

1. To grow the network from 27 schemes to 40 schemes by September 2017

2. To build the union’s board and secretariat capacity (both technical and financial) to run the union independently by 2021.

3. To expand coverage to fully cover all the five districts in Western Ankole.

Objectives

a. To increase the direct participation of scheme members in higher-level decision making for schemes, a function Save for Health Uganda (SHU) the initiator and long-time promoter of the program had been preparing members to take on.

b. To strengthen the individual member Community Health Insurance (CHI) Schemes by federating them into a single unifying body to benefit from economies of scale, individual scheme strength, bigger size for a strong voice and recognition.

c. To sensitize about the concept of Health Insurance and promote the Community Health Insurance Schemes in the area.

d. To have in place a local technical support structure that will provide support to individual member schemes on all matters of scheme functioning and sustainability.

e. To support the schemes to operate professionally and sustainably by standardizing and centralizing some technical roles and directly implementing them for and on behalf of the member schemes. Some of the key roles are; Funds/premium management, contracting health care providers, purchasing health care services, capacity building/training scheme leaders, monitoring and evaluation and advocating for improvement in service delivery.

f. To coordinate and bring together all stakeholders involved in the Tweragurize programme for planning, implementation, support and guidance

UNION MANAGEMENT

The Union is governed by a well instituted board which oversees the implementation of the union’s resolutions as generated from the general assembly. The union with both financial and technical support from Save for Health Uganda established a competent secretariat which executes the day to day union activities being supervised by the board.

UNION PARTNERS

i. Save for Health Uganda- The donor/fundraiser, co-promoter and for technical support.

ii. Health Care Providers (Ishaka Adventist Hospital, Kitagata Hospital (Grade A), Mushanga H/C III, Bitooma H/C III, Bitooma H/C III and Nyakatsiro H/C III)

iii. Local Authorities in all the districts of operation at all levels for legal advice and promotion of the CHI programme

iv. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for increasing visibility of the union’s activities and promoting CHI at platforms provided by CSOs as Western Ankore Civil Society Organisations Forum (WACSOF).

v. District Health Authorities for policy guidance and promoting the union activities.

vi. District Community Development Office for registration/legalizing the union and providing technical support in running the network legally.