“Illnesses can strike at any time,” said the father of five. When he himself fell ill, he was able to pay for essential treatment thanks to the health insurance card provided by the AMU programme
Claude Igirukwishaka is married and a father of five. He lives in a village in the province of Ruyigi, Burundi, where AMU has been supporting a drinking water project with its local partner CASOBU (Water Source of Life and Development in Ruyigi) for more than ten years. Falling ill in these areas is a big problem: it becomes almost impossible to get treatment because of the high cost of health care. In fact, Claude had to sell something every time he or someone in his family needed drugs prescribed by a doctor.
The change came when Claude, and other families in the same community, heard about the community health insurance part of AMU’s project. It was 2021, and Claude had attended an awareness-raising meeting: ‘We realised how important it is to sign up for a mutual health insurance scheme so that we could afford to get treatment if we needed it. Illness can strike at any time’. After that meeting, Claude joined the community mutual insurance scheme, paying an admission fee and an annual fee. It was very foresighted of him and this small action saved his life.
A short time later, the man became seriously ill. Without hesitation, he went straight to the hospital. His health insurance card covered almost all the expenses he had to incur for treatment. A firm believer in the need for a mutual health insurance scheme, Claude is now committed to encouraging other members of the community to join.