Western Ankole Tweragurize Schemes’ Association (WATSA) is a scheme that brings together, under a single umbrella, all Community Health Insurance (CHI) sub-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 sub-schemes that had already been formed.
SHU, the promoting agency of CHI schemes, found it necessary to form WATSA to unite all the CHI sub-schemes to achieve their goal by increasing the pooling levels, managing a joint pool, contracting health care providers, purchasing health care services, increasing visibility and having a bigger recognition and voice in advocating for quality health care services.
WATSA scheme is mandated to operate in all the five districts of Western Ankole (Bushenyi, Sheema, Mitooma, Rubirizi and Buhweju).
The scheme currently supports 20 running sub-schemes with 567 households and 3,090 (1,778 females and 1,312 females) beneficiaries in the three districts of Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma.
The scheme protects the vulnerable families from catastrophic health care expenditures that would have forced them to sell of their only life-sustaining assets like land hence sinking them into abject poverty.
A healthy population in Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma districts with easy access to quality health care services.
To promote CHI, contract service providers and coordinate member sub-schemes in the target districts of Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma for families to access quality healthcare services.
WATSA scheme is registered as a Community-Based Organization (CBO) in the three districts of Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma where it currently operates.
About this CHI Scheme
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) Sub-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 Scheme in the area.
d. To have in place a local technical support structure that will provide support to individual member sub-schemes on all matters of scheme functioning and sustainability.
e. To support the sub-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
WATSA scheme is governed by a well-instituted board which oversees the implementation of the resolutions as generated from the general assembly. The scheme with both financial and technical support from Save for Health Uganda established a competent secretariat which executes the day-to-day activities being supervised by the board.
- Save for Health Uganda- The donor/fundraiser, co-promoter and for technical support.
- Health Care Providers (Ishaka Adventist Hospital, Kitagata Hospital (Grade A), Hope Medical Centre, Mushanga H/C III, Bitooma H/C III and Nyakatsiro H/C III)
- Local Authorities in all the districts of operation at all levels for legal advice and promotion of the CHI programme
- Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for increasing visibility of the scheme’s activities and promoting CHI at platforms provided by CSOs as the Western Ankore Civil Society Organisations Forum (WACSOF).
- District Health Authorities for policy guidance and promoting the scheme’s activities.
- District Community Development Office for registration/legalizing the scheme and providing technical support in running the scheme legally.
- To build the scheme’s board and secretariat capacity (both technical and financial) to run the scheme independently by 2026.
- To expand coverage to fully cover all the three districts of Bushenyi, Sheema and Mitooma in Western Ankole.