We know that families living without healthcare coverage suffer from far more than just inadequate access to medications and health services. Illness among the poor often leads families to seek desperate measures to find money for medications. This desperation places them and their children at a higher risk of being exploited by human traffickers and being forced into modern slavery. This community in particular, was found to be at an even greater risk of trafficking due to it’s isolated location and lack of access to healthcare treatment….until now!

[caption id="attachment_8075" align="aligncenter" width="1792"]20160127_092814SMALL ENA staff and nurses travel to the rural fishing village on Ada Island to grant them access to healthcare for the first time![/caption]

Last week, Engage Now Africa staff members  and 4 professional nurses from the Ada district hospital traveled to the islands to implement a health card registration program. As they arrived, 238 participants were already waiting in line, including 96 children, 50 male adults and 92 female adults. In one day, we were able to  help these participants register for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

[caption id="attachment_8066" align="aligncenter" width="1523"]DSC_0352_SMALL 238 men, women and children line up anxiously awaiting to receive their health identification cards and access to Ghana’s universal healthcare.[/caption]

Once registered, participants have free access to full medical in-patient and out-patient care, dental, vision, maternity and emergency services for 5 years before registration is required again.

[caption id="attachment_8069" align="aligncenter" width="1623"]DSC_0318_SMALL Due to the island’s rural location, residents were unable to travel to the NHIS office to register. Thanks to ENA, we brought the NHIS office to them![/caption]

Participants were very touched by this act of kindness and Engage Now Africa was grateful to be able to bring this service to them.  The program was spearheaded by Chris Gay (ENA Director of Modern Day Slavery) following his visit to the Island in July of last year. Chris saw the need to promote the NHIS to reduce the risk of Ada Island’s residents ending up in modern slavery or being trafficked.

[caption id="attachment_8067" align="aligncenter" width="1933"]DSC_0357_SMALL These children, once very vulnerable to modern slavery and human trafficking will now have the tools and awareness necessary to keep them safe from harm and looking forward to a bright future![/caption]

Additionally, Engage Now Africa continues to provide the vulnerable community with anti-human trafficking and modern day slavery awareness and sensitization programs. These programs teach residents to combat child trafficking and modern day slavery which is quite prevalent in the community.

We are grateful to the founders, donors and everybody who participated one way or the other to make the NHIS event successful!]]>