NHIA To Cover Sickle Cell, Cancer Children From July – Okoh Boye
Beginning in July of this year, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) will offer free care to kids with cancer and sickle cell anemia who have registered with the program.
NHIA has embraced the Hydroxyurea medication, which Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority approved for use in both adults and children in 2018 and is a common treatment for SCD patients in wealthy nations.
When the medications were finally made available in Ghana in 2021, Ghana became the first nation in Africa to pledge to provide the highest level of care for those with SCD.
Currently, 15,000 of Ghana’s 950,000 annual births have sickle cell disease.
An estimated 1200 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ghana. Among the most prevalent types in the nation, along with leukemia, are lymphoma, retinoblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, soft tissue sarcoma, and neuroblastoma.
Health professionals and NGOs have urged the government to cover the cost of treating these difficult-to-treat diseases under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Speaking at Ofori Panin Fie during a visit to Okyenhene Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye, CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), announced that the government has adopted the hydroxyurea Sickle Cell Treatment Drug under the Scheme for a roll out beginning next month along with treatment of children with cancer to bring relief.
“Through Nana Akufo-Addo, we are coming up with new initiatives, today we have extended the health insurance to cover certain things at first it will not cover. At first the insurance do not cover children who suffers from cancer but now from next month July children with cancer will be treated free once they have registered on the health insurance” he said.
“The second one is about children with sickle cell , There is a special medicine called hydroxyzine urea that we have been able to get through the able leadership of Nana Akufo-Addo, and this medicine when giving to a sickle cell patient it takes away the pains and give them the quality of lives they deserve to leave long without any suffering therefore from next month health insurance will take care of sickle cell patients,” he added.