Tanzania: Azania, NHIF Insurance Cover Benefit Farmers

Cooperative union members will now be able to get medical treatment through the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) insurance coverage under a loan programme to be supported by Azania Bank.

Under the agreement signed in Dar es Salaam yesterday, Azania Bank will pay NHIF health insurance premiums for willing cooperative members who will repay interest-free during the harvest and sales season.

The bank will pay an annual contribution of 76,800/- for a farmer and the same amount to his or her partner. It will pay 50,400/- for a child per year.

Speaking at the launching event, Azania Bank’s Managing Director Charles Itembe said Azania Bank was at the forefront of serving farmers in various ways and the agreement with NHIF farmers can now be assured of access to health care through insurance.

“We join our government in ensuring that farmers are guaranteed of healthcare services where Azania Bank we will pay premiums and the farmers can repay after selling their harvests.

He said, to begin with, they have earmarked 2,000 farmers as they support the government’s efforts to extend health insurance coverage to farmers who form the majority of the population.

Available statistics show that as of 2019, 32 per cent of Tanzanians had health insurance coverage, of which 8 per cent have subscribed to NHIF, 23 per cent are members of Community Health Fund (CHF), and 1 per cent are members of private health insurance companies.

NHIF Director General, Bernard Konga said that the partnership with Azania Bank will enable farmers who are in cooperatives to benefit from medical services through health insurance without the challenges of making direct payment at the point of use of health care. He said farmers who would join the health insurance coverage and their families would have access to all medical services in a wide network of more than 9,000 centres in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar from dispensary level to the national referral hospital.