Mobile Devices Help Monitor Access to Healthcare in Ghana
SEND Ghana has launched a project to use mobile devices to collect data to assess if the poor are benefiting from the government’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). IICD will provide technical advisory service and training.
The Ghanaian government instituted the NHIS in 2003 to remove the financial barriers to quality health care for the poor. SEND’s objective is to find out if the poor are actually benefiting from the scheme. Registration data suggests that this may not be the case. Only 2.3% taking part in the scheme are subsidized poor, while an estimated 28.5% of Ghana's population lives below the poverty line.
SEND will develop an Open Source monitoring tool in cooperation with software developers to be used on handheld mobile devices to collect and share data. Due to the poor communication infrastructure, this will enable SEND to transmit data and share monitoring information with grassroots organisations and others. They are also developing and implementing a monitoring information management system that will help them track and analyze the data.
IICD is providing technical advisory support in the development of the monitoring tool and information management system. IICD and SEND will collaborate to develop appropriate training materials. The Dutch organisation Cordaid will provide the direct project funding.
The project launched in October 2009 will continue for two years. SEND is also sensitising women in the Upper West Region to the opportunities available to women and children in the NHIS and how they can take advantage of them.
SEND - Ghana is an organization that tries to increase access of the poor and the marginalized in society to pro-poor policies and programmes of the government through research and advocacy.