Assessment of the level of community awareness and preparedness for the district-wide mutual health insurance scheme: the Case of the Kintampo District-Ghana

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The Kintampo district is one of the poorest in terms of economic development in the Brong Ahafo region. Most people in the district live in rural communities. Due to poverty and illiteracy they are restricted from accessing basic health care from the formal sector. The introduction of the health insurance scheme was therefore a great sigh of relief to the people. However, for people to accept the insurance scheme, it is very important for high awareness to be created. Again, knowledge on the health insurance scheme must be encouraging. The preparedness of the people will largely depend on awareness and knowledge on the scheme. The study was therefore undertaken to assess the awareness and knowledge level of the people as well as their preparedness for the scheme. Study Methodology The study was cross sectional and used both qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection. A sample size of 227 was randomly selected from the Jema, Kintampo and the New-Longoro sub districts for the study. These sub districts were selected purposively based on their rural and urban characteristics. Ten qualitative interviews were conducted with community opinion leaders, caregivers’ health staff and heads of institutions. Besides, structured questionnaires were administered on heads of households who were randomly selected from the various sub districts. Six focus group discussions were organized with caregivers in six communities selected randomly from the other sub districts. Results The results and findings showed that awareness on the health insurance scheme was very encouraging among the respondents (92.5%). Knowledge on the scheme on the other hand was found to be generally very low among them. Again, out of the 227 respondents selected for the study only 66 of them had paid the premium, representing an enrolment rate of 29.Oo. The analysis revealed that collection of contributions started in the off-season making it more difficult for people to be able to afford the premium. Again, the premium rate was found to be unaffordable to most people, especially, those who have large family sizes. Other problems that restricted enrolment were long distances to health facilities and its attendant high cost of transport fares, traditional beliefs which prevent some people from assessing health care from the formal sector, poor quality of health care as well as apathy on the part of health staff Conclusion and Recommendations It was therefore concluded that even though awareness on the scheme was very high, knowledge was very poor and also most people were not prepared for the scheme at the time of its introduction. The study therefore recommends to all stakeholders to join hands together in educating the public and also make contribution of premiums more flexible and affordable to the people. Also, community-based associations and opinion leaders must be given special roles to play in the implementation of the scheme.
A thesis submitted to the College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the the degree of Master of Science, 2005