TANZANIA Postal Bank (TPB) and the National Health Insurance (NHIF) have launched cotton farmers’ health insurance through the Health Insurance Programme initiated by the latter.
Tabora Regional Commissioner Dr Philemon Sengati inaugurated this service at Mwamashimba village in Igunga last week, an occasion attended by farmers from various cooperative unions, Tabora government leaders, TPB and NHIF workers.
DR Sengati said farmers constitute a group of people who were forgotten or excluded from access to health insurance although they deserve such service based on their major role in agriculture which is the mainstay of the national economy.
“I call upon other institutions to emulate the example set by TPB and NHIF in including various groups of people in their development programmes,” he said.
The launch of the health insurance to cotton farmers was agreed upon by TPB, NHIF and cooperative unions in the Lake Zone.
Under this programme, Shinyanga Cooperative Union (Shirecu), Kahama Cooperative Union (Kacu) Simiyu Cooperative Union (SCU), Nyanza Cooperative Union (NCU) and other association in the Lake Zone would also be beneficiaries of the scheme.
Primary societies through the Registrar of Cooperative Societies would also enter into initial agreements with TPB and NHIF to ensure the availability of farmers’ health insurance in the Lake Zone.
TPB Chief Executive Officer Sabasaba Moshingi said: “This programme of health insurance to farmers has begun with strategic crops, particularly cotton, being the chief cash crop in the Lake Zone.”
He added: “The programme experiment is being carried out in collaboration with the Igembensabo Cooperative Union in Igunga district. The service would be available at TPB branches and NHIF offices in the Lake Zone.”
NHIF Director General Bernard Konga said through primary cooperative societies, a farmer would contribute 76,800/-, his partner 76,800/- and children under 18 years would contribute 50,400/- per year.
He elaborated that deductions would be made through the primary cooperative societies when the farmer gets his pay for his produce crops sold these bodies.
Health insurance services available for the farmer would include seeing the doctor, medication, surgery, dental services, eye treatment and others.
The Tabora TPB Regional Manager Timon Massawe said the bank’s vision to reach out to various groups of Tanzanians is aimed at supporting government initiatives of ensuring that many citizens have access to health insurance services.