PILLAR OF HEALTH

Making health coverage possible and sustainable for youth and children with Type 1 diabetes in Rwanda.

THE PROBLEM

Medical Care for the Children and Youth in Rwanda

A 100 years after insulin discovery, the survival of youth/children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is still determined by the country of birth. In some parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is like a death sentence.  However, there has been a significant improvement in other areas, such as Rwanda. This improvement in medical care within Rwanda needs to be sustained.

Especially now during trying times with the COVID-10 outbreak, health insurance is of the utmost importance.

Many children die undiagnosed, or just after being diagnosed, while others suffer from various complications due to inadequate diabetes care due to not having health insurance.  Health insurance allows individuals to go to the hospital in a timely fashion avoiding complications and have less worry about the cost.

For the past few years, the nonprofit, Life for A Child (LFAC) has made significant inroads by providing insulin and other needed items for youth with T1D. Unfortunately, LFAC can only support youth and children who are under 26 years old. Due the positive results of these programs, the patients are living longer, leaving more than 600 young adults who are no longer supported by LFAC.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Giving children a brighter tomorrow.

Rwanda has made tremendous progress since the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.  The country now has an innovative type of health insurance, mutuelle de sante.  It is family-based health insurance, in which each family member has to pay $4 per year.  Since this is family-based health insurance, each family member has to pay before anybody can receive medical care. Rwandan families are large (average=6) and some families are unable to afford such an amount, and in that case, the one with diabetes becomes a victim.
If the family is able to afford the health insurance, once the family is insured, their overall medical cost becomes only 10% of the original total cost. For instance, a diabetes patient will pay $2 for 2 bottles of insulin each month instead of $20, a largely unaffordable amount to the general Rwandan population.

Health insurance is not just for diabetes, but also for other frequent endemic diseases such as malaria, along with other medical needs like maternal and child issues or accidents. The Health Insurance also injects cash into health systems and makes easier for all the stakeholders involved in diabetes care.

TYPE 1 DIABETES: results from the pancreas’ failure to produce enough insulin for the body.

THE MISSION STATEMENT

We put children first.

The mission of Pillar of Health is to have every child/youth living with type 1 diabetes in Rwanda to have health insurance.

Due to Rwanda’s unique history of genocide, war, and HIV a high number of orphans are in the country.  Since these orphans are now surviving into young adulthood, they are able to start families and have increased responsibilities.

These increased demands on their bodies along with aging out of the medical care can put them at a higher risk for diabetes-related complications.

During difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, health insurance remains of prime importance to families in Rwanda. Between the loss of income, death, and loss of international support, having health insurance gives these people the best chance of survival for their families.

How We Accomplish Our Goals

Our Approach

Pillar of Health will employ a two-phase solution.  The first phase consists of raising funds to provide free health insurance to those families who cannot afford it.  This is an immediate need and helps the current situation.  The second phase is to help these families sustain the health insurance in the years to come.  This involves local solutions, such as vocational training and sourcing locally available jobs to enable the recipients to be able to pay for themselves in subsequent years.

Pillar of Health will work with the government, private sector employment, and clergy, to secure employment for those who receive the benefit of paid health insurance.   We maintain communication with these beneficiaries, to address any concerns, and to ensure the viability of the program.

The country has developed a centralized website that includes a national ID for the head of the family, which indicates the family size and age of each family member. Using the family’s national ID, mutuelle de sante, the health insurance plan, is paid at any bank or cash transfer agency anywhere in the country.  This ensures the beneficiaries are getting the insurance and there is no cash transfer between parties.

How We Accomplish Our Goals

Sustainability.

Pillar of Health will focus on the development of local solutions.  These can include businesses in agriculture, farming, crafting, sewing, hairdressing, and selling client produced products both inside and outside of the country (ex. USA).  All of these businesses would have money going back to the community.  By developing the local solutions the goal is to have more people able to pay for their health insurance in subsequent years.

How We Accomplish Our Goals

Advocacy and Support.

Pillar of Health will continue to work with the government to help establish a consistent provision of insulin and other supplies to district hospitals. The use of a Peer-Support Sysytem, along with community leaders, to make sure that patients are seeking care on a regular basis is a vital aspect to the program. Peer-supporters will be volunteering and checking in on the clients to keep Pillar of Health informed of the ongoing health and welfare situation for each client.  Each peer-support volunteer will be provided with a smartphone for regular communication, and in some cases with a bicycle.

THE TEAM

Meet our amazing staff!

Fundraising

Pillar of Health welcomes all Donations to help us provide those in need in Rwanda with health insurance.

Management

Our team is always looking for ways to increase Pillar of Health’s ability to network and help the Rwandan community.

Teamwork

Pillar of Health is open to collaborations with other organizations.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Worldwide network.
Local impact.

Pillar of Health is dedicated to raising funds and implementing our two-phase program, to help those with Type 1 Diabetes in Rwanda have the opportunity to live and thrive in their community. A diagnosis should not be a death sentence.

THE NEWS

See what we’re up to.

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THE INFO

Our stats at a glance.

Volunteers

200+

Donation

$150K

Families

20+

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Humanitarian Social Innovations (46-4779591) treats funds received for the purpose of this program as restricted under the charitable trust doctrine. All funds, minus administrative fees, are dedicated to the purpose of this program and will not be used to pay the expenses of another.

COVID-19 Program: We need your help to provide health insurance for diabetic children in Rwanda.  Donate
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