Musa: Healthcare for allImproving access to health services and education
Only 8% of Togo’s population currently have health protection. This lack of protection means that poor families struggle to afford the basic healthcare services; creating a cycle of poor health and poverty.
In Togo, when a member of a poor uninsured family becomes sick, households face paying high out-of-pocket expenses to access care, and often end up delaying care or self-medicating. Illness can reduce a low-income family’s ability to work, to save or invest in their children’s education and pushes vulnerable families further into poverty.
To compound this, low literacy levels, lack of access to the internet and healthcare services means that many families in Togo find it difficult to obtain important healthcare information, precluding their ability to make informed decisions about their health.
We are working to improve access to basic healthcare services by providing access to MUSA, a not for profit health insurance mutual, designed by our partner IADES for families living in poverty.
MUSA works by subsidising 70% of costs at partner health centres; reducing out of pocket spending and making health care more accessible for families with little savings. It covers a range of leading illnesses, including malaria, waterborne diseases and treating wounds – as well as four antenatal consultations and childbirth. Importantly, MUSA is affordable, rural families can join MUSA by paying a one-time membership fee (£2.11) and an annual contribution (£4.23 per family member).
To combat a lack of access to information, we run health education workshops covering topics such as malaria, waterborne diseases and family planning. Participants act as “community health champions” by sharing newly acquired knowledge with other community members.
In 2021 we aim to and expand MUSA’s member base to at least 1000 benficiaries and to promote family policies to ensure that more children benfit from MUSA.
We will also work to strengthen community health systems by creating and training village health committees, and roll out a revised health education programme which will include training on treating wounds and preventing infections and the importance of ante-natal care.