Azania Bank Limited Managing Director Charles Itembe said yesterday in Dar es Salaam after signing an agreement with National Health Insurance Fund Managing Director Bernard Konga which aims to enable farmers to get coverage health insurance, that all Tanzanians need proper health insurance coverage.
“We are joining forces with the government in ensuring that the country’s smallholder farmers have access to quality health services through the health insurance coverage of the NHIF,” Itembe said adding that under the agreement, Azania Bank will pay premiums between 50,400 / – and 76,800 / – for a farmer and his family per year through an interest-free loan system.
“The farmer and his wife will pay 76,800 / – each for a year while each child will pay 50,400 / – also per year,” said the head of Bank Azania while noting that to start, some 2,000 farmers should benefit from the program. baptized “Ushirika Afya”.
He said the program will benefit farmers who are members of cooperative societies and the payment of interest-free loans will be made during the harvest season. Itembe urged farmers through their cooperatives to seize the opportunity and cover their families against the risk of getting sick.
In remarks after the signing ceremony, Konga of the NHIF said the agreement will allow smallholder farmers of all types of crops in the cooperative society member country to benefit from the interest-free loan program offered by Azania Bank.
“The fund is committed to making the government’s initiative for universal health coverage a reality. This agreement allows small farmers and their families to obtain quality health services through the NHIF for a whole year, ”said Konga while congratulating the management of Azania Bank for joining forces with the fund to bail out farmers, many of whom lack the money to pay annual premiums. health insurance coverage.
“We have agreed with Azania Bank which is one of the major banks working in the agricultural sector to help farmers obtain health insurance coverage at affordable rates,” he added while revealing that the NHIF has a network of over 9,000 health insurance establishments across the country.
“Our affiliate partners who are on both sides of the union range from a health center in the most remote part of the country to a high-end referral hospital located in urban areas, so our members have access to quality health care wherever they choose to go. “, noted the head of the NHIF.
Speaking at the same event, Co-operative Registrar Dr Benson Ndiege praised Azania Bank and NHIF’s innovative solution to the health needs of smallholder farmers, thereby accelerating the government’s initiative for universal health coverage.
“This initiative by Azania and the NHIF is a great relief for farmers who find themselves without resources when a family member falls ill because they are forced to use all their savings to pay for health services,” Dr Ndiege said. He urged other banks and financial institutions to borrow a sheet from the Azania Bank and NHIF partnership.