Azalia, Premium Collector in Mbozi district.
In 2016, Azalia Enock Mwashiuya was awarded a bicycle for his talent in collecting premiums for the Community Health Fund Users Association (CHFuA.) Azalia has worked in his role as premium collector for 13 years, a role that involves not just collecting premiums, but also educating villagers about the CHF and the value in joining. It can be a challenge given that there are frequent changes in government legislation regarding the governing and management of the CHF that affect his day-to-day operations.
Given the ever-changing legislative nature of the CHF, Azalia works to foster harmonious relationships between the fund, the local [village] government, and the health facility agents. These relationships are important, because there are times when the villagers need medicines that have not been adequately supplied by government agencies.
“The most difficult part in my work is when the community member from my village, who is insured with our community health fund, fails to receive prescribed medical drugs from the health facility,” Azalia said. “It is expected that being a CHF member guarantees the patient an affordable access to health service through premium collected, and that the patient will receive medical services at zero cost at the contracted health facilities, which will later claim for reimbursement from the CHF office and the government matching funds. This is not always the case.”
Azalia expresses pride in his ability to serve his community members in health care matters. When asked whether any patients have impacted him personally, he points out that all of his patients have left a lasting impression and changed his overall work ethic. “I am compelled to work even at night to attend patients for village referral to a nearby health facility.”
Because of his strong commitment to the community, Azalia was able to gain momentum for a fundraising effort that ultimately led to building an office. It’s from this office that he continues his community education efforts focused on building a strong community health fund, an endeavor that in turn offers greater health care benefits to the community at large.