Keneema Joseline’s Story
Keneema Joseline is a 38-year-old married woman with four children from Sigirira village in the Ibanda District. She’s the main caregiver and wage earner in her family. Keneema is a member of the Ankole Health Cooperative.
One day the chairperson of our burial society in our village told me how I could join their co-op by paying a small amount of money for my family members before they fall sick. That way I could access health services without paying more money when they do. When she told me, I didn’t believe her. I would often use a government health facility in our area.
It didn’t take long before my child fell sick. I went to a government facility. When I reached it around noon, the health workers said that they were hungry for lunch and told me to continue to another facility.
Instead, I went to a private clinic because the next facility was too far away and my child was very sick. After my child had been treated I was asked to pay but I didn’t have money. I had to make a deal with a millet trader and sell my family’s food because I didn’t have money to pay the clinic bills.
I regretted not following the advice of chairperson for our burial society. Immediately after leaving the clinic I joined the Sigirira Twetambire/health co-op with all my family members.
How the health co-op helped Keneema and her family
I have now spent a year without any of my family members falling sick. I attribute this to the health education we have had in member meetings. We have been educated on how we can protect ourselves from diseases.
The co-op has helped me save money. I am able to provide everything for my family because I am not spending so much on health care. I thank God for all this, I thank Ibanda mission health workers and I thank you people who have brought this program.
Why health co-ops work
Because HealthPartners Uganda promotes locally owned health cooperatives, people like Keneema Joseline and her family are able to become members and get access to quality health care at an affordable cost.
Members pay inexpensive quarterly premiums and a small co-payment at the time of a visit. In return, they get access to the health care they need—when they need it. Currently, more than 46,000 people have enrolled and are benefitting from earlier treatment seeking and improved health outcomes as a result of health cooperative membership.