18 February 2013

Tanzania: Low Income Earners to Benefit From CHF

THE government plans to extend services of Community Health Fund (CHF) countrywide to enable more people, especially low income earners, to access health insurance.

This follows major achievements recorded by CHF in Dodoma region, according to Deputy Minister in Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Aggrey Mwanri.

"The government is determined to extend CHF countrywide by collaborating with local and foreign stakeholders in the health sector, the objective is to make sure the fund is accessed by more people," Mr Mwanri said.

The deputy minister made the remarks during the launch of the Inspectorate Management Information System (IMIS) for improved CHF services.

CHF Manager of Health Promotion and System Strengthening Project (HPSS), Mr Manfred Stoermer, pointed out during the occasion that improved CHF uses IMIS with modern technology using mobile phones.

Mr Stoermer said the change is part of efforts under HPSS Project or Let's Improve Health Project which is carried out jointly by the governments of Tanzania and Switzerland. "By introducing IMIS, CHF has solved the problem of record keeping including registering new members through mobile phones, contribution management and dealing with complaints from fund members," Mr Stoermer said.

He said the new system would be facilitating health insurance to keep its records well thus helping to extend services to a good number of people. Mr Stoermer said the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) would be facilitating CHF operations whether there is network or no network and that members' cards would be offered to individuals instead of households.

He said the system has solved the challenge of recognising members of the fund while seeking medical treatment in rural areas, saying each health service centre has been provided with a special mobile phone which can download photos of the members. "Membership registration has become fast and efficient compliments of the new system using mobile phones," he said.

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