„Asante BIMA“: Healthcare for Cancer Patients
At the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania the German Doctor Oliver Henke supports the Project “Asante BIMA”, trying to provide health care insurance for children with cancer in order to win the fight against the disease.
Cancer: this diagnosis is a shock to everybody. About 15 million people per year around the world get this diagnosis. While in Germany and other countries the treatment is advanced, in developing countries more people die from cancer than from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV together.
In December 2016 the Cancer Care Center opened at the KCMC (Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center), which is responsible for 15 million people.
One big problem is, that patients come too late to get a diagnosis. Often they cannot afford to travel to the Center or the journey is too difficult, especially during rainy period. Most people just cannot bring up enough Money for the cost of diagnosis or treatment, so they first trust their medicine man in the village.
In order to win the fight against cancer, a long term health care, especially for children, is essential. The government in Tanzania offers this possibility. But the cost for the insurance seem to be extraordinary: € 44, - for an adult, € 28, - for a child per year in a group insurance, in which 7 people have to be organized.
Many cannot bring up enough money, even if their child is badly sick. The average income in Tanzania is € 40,- per month/person. This money has to be used to feed the whole family. Unemployment and a high rate of poverty are other big problems in this African country. Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, drought period and heavy rain make life difficult in rural areas.
The team of Dr. Henke especially supports children to get into health insurance, because the cure rate among children is very high. An early diagnosis of cancer increases the chance for proper treatment. If one child gets into health insurance, it is possible to insure up to 6 family members as well. For all these people the visit in hospital will be free of charge and there will be no costs for medicine.
The team works together with the national Health Care Insurance (BIMA). During cancer enlightenment in villages they encourage people to come together and organize for a group insurance. Even if it takes about a year until the insurance will pay for the costs of a treatment, this step will pay out because it often takes several years to treat cancer.
“Asante BIMA” brings hope and cure to many people located in the north of Tanzania. Hand in hand with the efforts for sustainability, cancer check-up and cancer treatment.