July 2021: Ethiopia / Lalibela: Community Health Insurance Cover for the Seniors

PBF Community Health Insurance Cover for the Seniors, the sick and the Disabled in Lalibela

Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) is a local government initiated health insurance concept for protection against the cost of illness and improving access to quality health services for low-income rural households who are normally excluded from formal insurance.

A large percentage of the most vulnerable old and sick, children as well as people living with various disabilities  whose families are classified below the absolute poverty threshold  have the chance to get a free and in-time medical attention. Most households in Lalibela and the surrounding are characterised by a high prevalence rate of sanitation-related diseases, which undermines their health, in turn weakening their ability work and provide for their families.

The CBHI gives chance to get a timely checkup, precautions and intervention. It serves as a kind of social protection for a large portion of the population especially for the needy destitute and households who doesn’t have regular income. People with chronic illnesses like HIV, Diabetes, High blood pressure,  needs regular check-up  follow up have a chance for  reliable health care access.

This scheme is so useful to the vet poor because they do not have to pay for their medical services from their daily meagre earnings. They can thus improve their diet from what they save from the medical attention.

People who are referred to to higher hospitals out of Lalibela with high cost, will have the chance to get a free better medication at selected higher hospitals. Moreover, the  CBHI offers effective alternatives in order to provide rural households, needy destitute and children a permanent solution to the problem of accessing health care.

PBF has been supporting the old, the sick and those with various disabilities in the community for close to 15 years. This is very difficult group to fundraise for as most donors would not respond to recurrent financial support for it encourages dependancy and lack of sustainability.  We saw the Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) initiative by the government as a big chance to include our destitutes in a local scheme that we only have to help pay them once in a year. This gives us a relief and therefore we can divert the funds we initially used for medical bills to support small start ups (businesses) for their families so that they can pay for the annual community insurance on their own once a year.

By Messay and Dan