1,500 WOMEN IN N/R BENEFIT FROM FREE NHIS REGISTRATION
Coastal Scents, a beauty products manufacturer in the USA in collaboration with Kimoyo and SEKAF Ghana Limited, has launched a Health Insurance Project intended to register about 1,500 women and their families under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Coastal Scents, which buys shea butter and other shea products from SEKAF, will register each woman and her family free of charge and in the subsequent years renew their NHIS identity cards when they expire.
The 1,500 women, who are mainly shea nuts pickers and processors, have been working with SEKAF, producers of high quality certified organic shea products that operate a processing factory at Kasalgu, a rural community in the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly.
In a statement preceding the launch of the project, Managing Director of SEKAF Ghana Ltd, Senyo Kpelly, disclosed that the whole project would cost an estimated GH¢14,500.00 to register the beneficiaries who were from twelve communities under the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly and Tolon-Kumbungu District, respectively.
The communities include Kasalgu, Nangbau № 1, Nangbau № 2, Garizegu, Jusonayili, Gumu, Wamyamba, Kuli, Kasuli, Kagbal, Sinsinal and Warenvi.
SEKAF Ghana Ltd, based in Tamale in the Northern Region of Ghana is a fully integrated shea business, from management of certified organic shea plantations to the production of high quality certified organic shea butter and shea based beauty and bath products under the brand name ‘Tama’ which in Dagbanli means shea fruits.
Some of the products the company manufacture include premium grade shea butter, shea cooking oil, Tama African black soap, Tama shea butter soap and many others.
Mr. Kpelly recalled that in 2002, SEKAF dreamed of a better way of structuring the shea industry in a way that will benefit all stakeholders even as the shea nuts travel from the wild plantations in Northern Ghana through the hands of local women processors to developed countries where it is finally turned into finished products.
He disclosed that the company decided to institute what it called SEKAF Fair Trade Policy aimed at addressing the problem of unfair distribution of total benefits that raw shea nuts accumulate as it changes hands from rural pickers to modern sophisticated manufacturers of cosmetics and food items.
This policy, according to him allows SEKAF to sell its raw materials and finished products mainly to business entities that are prepared to invest some of their profits in the rural communities in Northern Ghana that supply them with raw shea nuts or shea butter, to raise their standard of living through education, basic infrastructural development and provision of affordable medical care to local men and women.
The MD of SEKAF noted that Coastal Scents, one of U.S beauty products manufacturer accepted the policy and decided to put up a package that would enable all the women working with SEKAF to have access to free and quality healthcare through the registration of the NHIS which will be renewed annually.
The goal of this Coastal Scents Health Insurance Project is to make sure that the women and their families are healthy all the time so that they could go to the bush and farms and pick more shea nuts to be processed and transported to the U.S manufacturer for it to sustain its business.
The Chief of Kasalgu, Kasalana Ziblim Sandow lauded the initiative by Coastal Scents and SEKAF Ghana Limited and also for bring much improvement in the lives of his people.