On 16th July 2014, Sagam Village recieved four visitors from PharmAccess from both the Kenya and Amsterdam offices led by Onno Schellekens, who is the Managing Director. They were brought by the Executive Director of KMET, Mrs. Monica Ogutu, where they joined Dr Solomon Orero, who is Senior Technical Advisor RH/FP at JHPIEGO and also a Director at KMET .
The visitors were hosted in Sagam Hospital with a team led by Prof, Khama Rogo, who is the Founder of Sagam Hospital, and Benson Sewe Otieno, the Executive Officer. They were taken around Community Projects including Ahono Sinaga Community Water Project, Mindhine Youth Polytechnic, Sagam Dairy Project, Yaw Pachi Women Group, Biogas Project.
The tour was guided by Mr Zachary Were, who is a senior community member and board member of various community projects and Benson Sewe. Due to time constraints they were not able to visit all the projects but the were very happy with the visit and promised to come back. The main focus of their visit was to enhance the partnership they have had with Sagam Community Hospital which has been going on for some time through Pharm Access group of organizations such Medical Credit Fund, Safe Care, Pharm Access, Health Insurance Fund, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development.
WHAT IS PHARM ACCESS FOUNDATION?
PharmAccess was intitiated in 2000 to bring life-saving antiretroviral therapy for HIV and AIDS to Africa.
Since its inception PharmAccess has been operating at the cutting edge of health sector support in Africa, pioneering innovative approaches. Initially, PharmAccess focused on the introduction of HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa. Later on, PharmAccess broadened its activities towards embedding HIV/AIDS treatment in general health care services, general health system strengthening, and the introduction of and support to health insurances schemes. Today PharmAccess is also concerned with supporting investments in the African health sector.
The aim of PharmAccess is to improve access to quality basic health care, including HIV/AIDS treatment and care in sub-Saharan Africa, through building sustainable health systems. To achieve its aim PharmAccess introduces a new approach, which advocates a different organization of the healthcare delivery and contributes to the building of sustainable health systems and a sustainable health care economy. PharmAccess works closely with public and private health providers, private insurance companies, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Third Party Administrators (TPAs) and national and multi-national companies in 31 African countries. PharmAccess aims to alleviate the healthcare burden of African governments through establishing public- private partnerships. PharmAccess always works with local organizations in order to avoid brain drain.
The PharmAccess Group is dedicated to affordable access to quality health care in Africa, by stimulating investments through partnerships with the private sector and government institutions. This group of non-profit organizations has a shared goal, working towards achieving inclusive health care for Africa.
Many African governments struggle to meet the demand for health care of their populations. Population growth and the rise of non-communicable diseases are increasing the burden placed on their health systems even further. As public healthcare providers are often few and far between, overcrowded, understaffed and poorly stocked, many people pay out-of-pocket for health care at private clinics whose quality also leaves much to be desired. The fact that health insurance remains out of reach for most people means that, when they are injured or become ill, they can become trapped in a downward spiral of lost income paired with high and unexpected healthcare costs. Also, without solid institutions and proper standards, there is no way to ensure the quality of health care services. These shortcomings of the health system come at a price – for the individuals, but also for their communities and even their countries. After all, healthy populations are a major driver of economic growth.
The PharmAccess Group aims to improve access to quality health care for people in sub-Saharan Africa. Their integrated approach consists of complementary initiatives that aim to increase investments and resources, efficiency and effectiveness within the healthcare system. By combining standards for quality improvement, loans for healthcare providers, health plans and in-depth impact research they simultaneously stimulate the demand for and supply of healthcare services. The expertise within the PharmAccess Group includes health plans, healthcare quality, healthcare financing and healthcare infrastructure. Their work also includes consultancy and HIV/AIDS corporate programs as well as mobile health (mHealth) applications.
With the financial support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other donors, they have been able to leverage their own investment by almost eight times, mobilizing additional resources from third party donors, local governments, investors, local banks, private clients and insurance premiums. As such, they are helping a growing number of people, from patients to medical professionals, gain access to the tools they need for social and economic development, thereby scaling up functioning health systems.
Their approach has generated considerable international attention, including a G20 prize that President Obama presented to them for their innovative healthcare financing model. This model helps to increase trust among patients, doctors, insurance companies, banks, government and international investors, thereby increasing their willingness to pay for or invest in health care in Africa. With a growing number of valued local and international partners, donors and investors from both the private and the public sector, they continue to work towards more inclusive health care in Africa.
Their partners, donors, investors and clients include Dutch and African (local) governments, local health maintenance organizations and insurance companies such as Hygeia, AAR and MicroEnsure, international (donor) organizations such as World Bank/IFC, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Clinton Foundation, DFID, Marie Stopes International and PSI, international public and private investors, multinationals such as Heineken, Shell, Zain, Air France KLM and health accreditation organizations such as Council for Health Services Accreditation for Southern Africa (COHSASA) and Joint Commission International (JCI).