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MHO, Beneficiaries Take Stock One Year After 

By Nahata Balama*

Officials of the Mutual Health Organisation, MHO, and beneficiaries met recently at the Youth and Animation Centre Buea, to evaluate their activities since the start of the organisation in April 2008.

At the occasion of their first General Assembly meeting, participants reviewed their achievements and failures. The meeting was attended by MHO board members, beneficiaries and potential members etc. MHO is an autonomous, non-profit and apolitical health financing organisation, managed on the principles of solidarity, risk sharing and mutual assistance against health related threats. The scheme, which is barely a year old, has as main aim to ameliorate access to health care.

Assisted by the German Technical Cooperation, GTZ, and the South West Programme for Mutual Health Organisation, SWPMHO, MHO takes charge of consultation, hospitalisation and delivery fees etc, for its members. So far, the MHO, which functions in six districts of the Southwest and Northwest Regions, has some 15.500 beneficiaries; has provided financial assistance to 3,700 beneficiaries worth circa FCFA 30 million.

In Buea, according to MHO officials, the organisation has assisted at least 250 members by paying 75-100 percent of their hospital bills. The Post was told that, upon presentation of an MHO membership card, discounts and special considerations are given to patients in the districts concerned. However, the Regional Advisor of MHO, Samuel Monono, regrets that the response on the part of the population so far is timid. He stated that a lot of people are yet to benefit from the scheme due to ignorance.

Monono said MHO is a good initiative, which, according to him, has recorded success in its first year of existence. He advised more people to register and benefit from it. The scheme, which works in collaboration with government and foreign partners, enables patients to receive appropriate medical care. It also works towards preventing unscrupulous medical officials from charging patients exorbitant prices.

To become a member or beneficiary of the health scheme, officials say, FCFA 1000 is paid per family or group of 4-10 people as registration. Meanwhile, FCFA 3,500 is paid annually as contribution per person. They said registration is open to all inhabitants of health districts concerned.

(UB Journalism Student On Internship)

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