Koupela Hospital : health insurance for the poor
“In 2002, we came to realize that the cost of obstetrical and surgical emergencies had become a critical issue” Dr. Isabelle Biboka, chief of Koupela Hospital, explains. “We informed UNICEF and they helped us to conduct a survey among the community. It revealed a real need for financial assistance”, she adds.
Ramata Diala is a 30 year old woman who is benefiting from this system. She had a Cesarean section yesterday morning. “Without the help of the Association, I don’t know what I would have done. I couldn’t afford to pay 70 000 francs for this treatment. Now, I need to pay 15 000 francs. It’s a lot but I think I can find the money”. The Association may cover 100% of the hospital bills for people living in extreme poverty.
The Association needs to grow and an awareness campaign has been launched. Members travel to neighboring villages to inform people of the purpose and benefits of the Association. To encourage others to become members, they often take with them people who were helped by the Association. Radio programs, meetings with the Authorities as well as health education of the community, are also organized. “Today, I notice that people aren’t as afraid of the hospital and are more willing to go” says Rasmani, president of Nayolsba.