By Amadu Kamil Sanah, GNA
Nsawam, Oct. 2, GNA – The Divine Group
International Foundation (DGIF), in partnership with the Aliu Mahama Foundation
(AMF), has facilitated the registration and renewals of the National Health
Insurance cards of 1,491 inmates of the Nsawam Prison.
This includes 1,413 males and 78 females.
The two Foundations, which are both non-profit
organisations, are pursuing a project dubbed: “My Health Behind Bars” to
ensure the registration and renewals of Prison inmates nationwide under the
Mr Ebenezer Kofi Adu-Lartey, the Project
Coordinator, said the two organisations launched the project on August 29, 2018
at the Nsawam Prison with a free medical screening for inmates.
He said the launch, through the medical
screening, realised that there was the need to do more to improve the health
status of inmates in the country’s prisons, hence, the collaboration with the
AMF to pursue the project.
Mr Adu-Lartey said the NHIS Registration was a
follow-up to the medical screening, which intended to promote the health status
of prison inmates.
He said the registration would be done
throughout the nation’s 43 prison centres, which had about 15,000 inmates,
adding that the Kumasi Prisons was targeted as the next registration centre.
He appealed to non-profit and benevolent
organisations and individuals to join hands in ensuring that the health needs
of the country’s prisoners were met.
Dr Lawrence K. Acheampong, the Medical
Director in charge of the Nsawam Prison Clinic, said about an average of 100
and as high as 200 inmates visited the clinic daily.
He said the clinic had, over the years, seen a
lot of structural and human resource boosts that had led to its upgrading and
accreditation to a B2 status.
Dr Acheapong said the commonest diagnosis
among inmates was malaria, and that this had recently led to the mass spraying
exercise in the yard, which had help in many ways.
“Hyper-respiratory infections and diarrhoea
and mental health diagnosis are also common among inmates, especially during
the raining season”.
He said the Prison clinic started the
acceptance of the NHIS services in 2015, adding that there were about 2,619
inmates registered under the NHIS out of a total of 3,482.
Dr Acheapong said about 616 inmates’ cards
were expired and due for renewal and that the intervention by the DGIF, AMF and
NHIS was timely.
He said the clinic provided costless
healthcare services varying from basic healthcare conditions to operative
procedures for both registered and non-registered inmates on the NHIS.
“Dignosis such as Stroke, Ophthalmic,
Othopeadic and Dental services that need specialist attention are normally
referred to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Nsawam Government Hospital and St
James Hospital in Koforidua,” he added.
Mr Theophilus Owusu-Ansah, the Eastern
Regional Director of the NHIS, said the registration of Prison inmates was
under the NHIS indigenes category.
He said the registration under that category
was free and that apart from the inmates, people who were classified as not
having families and approved by the Department of Social Welfare were also
Mr Owusu-Ansah said the NHIS was generally
performing well in the Region, which was made possible by the delivery of two
new card printers to every district.
“We targeted to register 47 per cent of our
population by end of the year and this agenda is rightly on course”.