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The right to health insurance for every family

Country: Kenya
Location: Karungu, one of eight divisions of the Migori District, on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Beneficiaries: sick poor without distinction of religion and tribe.

Nature of the project

Health Care.

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The Project

The mission hospitals located in rural areas of developing countries seek to offer the health services to populations of the surrounding zone in what is called the catchment area. They could not, however, achieve their purpose if they demanded the sick and their relatives to pay the money necessary to cover the costs of material and management. The majority of the population are poor and with no chance of a job, although modestly paid, and most of the families affected by AIDS, only a small minority have access to hospitals. The experience of the twelve years of the St. Camillus Hospital Karungu, located in the Nyanza region, is the confirmation of the above theory. The proposed fees do not exceed 25-30% of the costs for food, health care and general expenses. The project is originated from the need of many families to buy health insurance in order to cover medical costs. The National Health Plan has established a form of insurance for low-income families so they just need to pay 40 euro per year in order to receive health care. Despite of the low cost, only a few people can afford it.

The Context

Kenya is ranked among the 30 poorest countries in the world. The population is mainly engaged in agriculture and the proportion of Kenyans living below the national poverty line increased from 29% in 1970 to 52% in 2010. The socio-economic situation is made even more difficult by the health problems related to the spread of malaria, tuberculosis, and especially HIV-AIDS. The province in which is located the St. Camillus Mission Hospital, the western Nyanza, overlooks Lake Victoria and has the highest HIV prevalence rate in Kenya. In the districts of the region, the incidence of HIV changes according to various cultural, economic and social issues. In particular, the 70 % of new cases are among the fishing communities in the districts bordering the Lake Victoria in which the prevalence of the virus is detected by 39.3 %. The main reason for such a wide spread of HIV in Nyanza province also lies in the beliefs and cultural traditions of Luo are the majority in the area. According to a belief among the Luo, AIDS is caused by witchcraft, which reduces the effectiveness of information campaigns in the country on the mode of transmission of the virus and the risks related to it. A significant influence on the spread of HIV is given by the practice of receiving the widow of the deceased's brother as an inheritance. If a woman refuses to "be inherited" is exposed anathemas and loses the right to cultivate the lands of her deceased husband.

Objectives of the intervention of the PRO.SA Foundation

By acting in this way, the hospital wants to help a larger number of patients, with the guarantee of seeing the costs of the hospital covered, guaranteed entry coming from the insurance.

How to contribute

The annual contribution to ensure health insurance for a family is 40 €.