The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has partnered the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) to research into diabetes and hypertension cases in the country.
The data will form the basis for the NHIS’ resolve to veer into preventive health care which it believes is cost saving than treatment.
To gather empirical data, the NHIA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the KNUST to commence the research in 3,000 communities in the Asante Akyem Agogo district at a ceremony in Accra.
The selected communities will benefit from free health screening to be undertaken by medical students, healthcare professionals and the academia from the KNUST.
Asante Akyem Agogo district was selected because it recorded high cases of non-communicable diseases during preliminary health screening and research within the district.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NHIA, Dr Bernard Okoe-Boye, signed for the NHIA, while Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the KNUST, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo, initialled for the university.
Dr Okoe-Boye indicated that preventive health care was a cost-effective means of warding off illnesses and averting future complications that might arise.
He explained the focus on diabetes and hypertension cases was because over 60 per cent of adult deaths were related to the two ailments.
He said investing in research to have empirical data would not only be beneficial to the authority but also decrease such illnesses and their complications, as well as increase the longevity of adult life in the country.
Dr Okoe Boye indicated that to improve the health seeking behaviour of persons living in rural areas and to provide full insurance cover for every Ghanaian, the NHIS would go a step further to register persons in the earmarked communities onto the scheme.
Professor Owusu-Dabo noted that the selection of the Asante Akyem Agogo district was because of the recording of high cases of non-communicable diseases during preliminary health screening and research in the district.
He added that the partnership, which would be extended nationwide, had come in time to safeguard the health care needs of these indigenes, connect them to qualified medical practitioners and also provide them with health insurance cover from the NHIS.
He reiterated that the partnership with the NHIS formed an integral part of the university’s objective to bridge the gap between services, research and academia.
He pledged KNUST’s readiness to provide the authority with evidence-based data that would inform the NHIA’s roadmap towards full absorption of preventive health care on the scheme.
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