A non-governmental organization, Beafad Foundation, has paid for the registration and renewal of nearly 200 pupils of the Yonguase MA Basic School in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The beneficiaries included Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High School pupils of the school, mostly children from Yonguase and surrounding communities, were registered and issued with national health insurance cards for the next five years.
Founder of the NGO, Benedicta Afua Adeglo said the registration was to enable the beneficiaries to enjoy benefits under the national health insurance policy which they were denied owning largely to the inability of parents of the kids to pay for the services.
“For us to be able to help the kids have easy access to health, we realized that the kids don’t have it [NHIS card] and those who have it they can’t renew it because their parents are having a challenge…because it would be obvious a child would fall sick and because of Ghc 8 or Ghc 5, that child would be deprived from going to the hospital [and] so our basic motivation is to help these kids to go to the hospital,” said Miss Adegloh.
She said Beafad Foundation took it upon itself to register schools in Lower Manya Krobo who were not covered by the school feeding program and hence were not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme, for the next five years, adding that the foundation was also working towards an “afternoon mouthwash campaign,” to promote oral hygiene among the pupils.
The founder of the NGO who is undertaking the exercise in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and the National Health Insurance Scheme said the foundation was undertaking the project for the next five years.
She said vulnerable people, especially kids, must be assisted by philanthropists, organizations and individuals to live healthy lives especially as healthy people constituted a healthy nation and indicated that such people also needed to be strong to contribute to the development of the country.
The Accra-based NGO, which has been in existence for the past two years, according to Miss Adegloh, was touched by the plight of the kids whose school was not benefitting from the NHIS.
School Health Education Programme (SHEP) Coordinator for Lower Manya Krobo, Godfred Ofoe Caesar who observed that many of the pupils of the school were not covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme said the situation compelled him to approach the NGO for support which willingly obliged to assist register the kids onto the scheme.
Personal assistant to the Founder of the NGO, Stephen Antwi explained that the choice of Yonguase MA school because was based primarily on its remote location, a situation which made going to the NHIS office to do the registration very difficult for pupils and parents.
Headteacher of the Yonguase M/A Basic Schools, Solomon Nartey who described the National Health Insurance Scheme as vital however regretted that majority of the pupils who came to the school from far communities, did not have the card, a situation which compelled school authorities and teachers to bear the cost of their medical care at the CHPS compound.
Mr. Nartey who described the registration exercise as an important intervention, on behalf of the school expressed his profound gratitude to the Beafad Foundation for the gesture and urged them to extend the same care to other schools in need of similar assistance.
The headteacher, however, appealed for teaching and learning materials such as exercise books, footwear and school bags for the pupils, the absence of which pupils are forced to use one exercise book for more than one subject.
Beafad foundation has also engaged in other activities including donating 1000 exercise books to the Manya D/A Basic School in Prampram in the Ningo-Prampram district, the supply of sanitary pads to poor girls and donations of various items to the Akuse and Nsawam prisons.
On the way forward, Miss Adegloh said her NGO as part of its future projects will undertake a special project themed “Prisons Read” to teach and encourage prison inmates to read and a mouth wash campaign to encourage oral hygiene.
As the NGO is challenged with raising funds for their various projects, the founder of Beafad Foundation is appealing to corporate organizations, individuals and various stakeholders to support the cause of the organization to help the underprivileged in society.
The NGO was accompanied on the exercise by the Municipal SHEP Coordinator, Mr. Godfred Caesar, PRO for the Lower Manya Krobo Education Directorate, Mrs Sophia Manyeyo Samadji and some staff of the Lower Manya Health Insurance Scheme.