Community health insurance (CHI) schemes in Luwero Nakaseke and Nakasongola districts marked 20 years of existence at a grand ceremony held on 6th December, 2019 at Butuntumula Sub-county headquarters in Luwero district. The schemes also launched their new year of accessing healthcare services under insurance which begins on 10th December.

Speaking at the function, the Executive Director of Save for Health Uganda (SHU), Mr. Makaire Fredrick, thanked leaders of CHI schemes for exhibiting a very high degree of integrity in managing funds contributed as annual premium, which led to the growth of the schemes over the years.

He added that proper financial management and transparency was crucial to the continued survival of CHI schemes because it helped to build the confidence of community members.

Mr. Makaire informed the gathering that SHU was closely following the process of enacting the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) law and had submitted a position paper to Parliament calling for inclusion of CHI schemes as enrolment and collection agents for the informal sector.

Currently, there are 80 running CHI schemes in the three  districts covering 26,789 individuals from 3,850 families. Members of the schemes receive healthcare services from 12 healthcare providers ranging from HCIII to hospitals. Members are treated for all illnesses that can be managed by the contracted health facilities.

Nearly a thousand members of CHI schemes and other residents attended and benefitted from free healthcare services offered by healthcare providers contracted by the schemes. A total of 80 individuals tested positive for malaria and received free treatment and mosquito nets from St. Mary’s Kasaala HCIII. All the 70 people tested for HIV were negative while 18 received dental care services. Kiwoko hospital screened 187 people for diabetes and high blood pressure while the Red Cross conducted a blood donation exercise at the event. The event started with a health education session for all.

Several members of CHI schemes shared testimonies about the history of their schemes and the healthcare benefits they have enjoyed over the years.

The function was attended by political and traditional leaders in the area.