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The School Health Made Easy Scheme (SHEMES):

Background

Established in 1998 at the Bushenyi Medical Center (BMC), the School Health Made Easy Scheme (SHEMES) is a health insurance policy for students. It started with a few schools but has increased in membership over the years. The School Health program currently has over 20 schools overall with a population of approximately 20,000 students all obtaining medical services from our centres. The key services are;
  1. General in patient and outpatient care
  2. Dental services
  3. Eye care services
  4. Female students termly palpation
  5. Weekly school outreaches
  6. School inspection on hygiene and sanitation

The Scheme received support from CHEFA-EA from June 2007 and the support is geared towards strengthening the management and mobilisation of members in the scheme in the following areas;
  1. Data management
  2. Community mobilization
  3. Training of school Nurses
  4. Strenghening scheme services in schools
Most of the activities have been implemented like the training for school Nurses and data management is ongoing. The termly meetings with Headteachers are going on and the key achievement has been the designing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all the schools in the scheme and are currently being signed by different stakeholders for implementation by first term, 2008.

Challenges in the School Health Program are:

  1. Inadequate staff to run outreaches and the centre at the same time
  2. Lack of a committed Medical officer to run the schemes
  3. High drug consumption by students
  4. Poor means of transport; KCRC does not have a dedicated ambulance/truck for school outreaches
  5. Delay to pay premiums by schools/School Administrators

Suggested Actions for Improvement"

  1. There is need to increase staff for the scheme especially clinical staff. KCRC engeages in continual training.
  2. The MOUís need to be finalized and start to operate with all members schools.
  3. There is need to devise controls for ddisease prevention in schools e.g. fumigation, ITNs, e.t.c.
The school health program has remained a key program for the foundation even among the largest schemes in Uganda. The foundation needs to strengthen the prevention component for youths which could also reduce the treatment costs at the centres. Our scheme is also affiliated to the Uganda Community Based Health Financing Association (UCBHFA) funded by the Ministry of Health, Uganda.

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