On Wednesday, August 24, 2017, Hitotsubashi University and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a memorandum of joint research.
Under this joint research, an evaluation will be conducted on the impact of a technical cooperation project, “Project for Strengthening Capacity of Community Health Insurance System and Free Health Care Initiatives,” which assists Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the Republic of Senegal.
UHC aims to provide medical insurance to all citizens (especially the less fortunate) in developing countries to avoid households becoming insolvent due to medical costs as well as to improve access to medical services. The Japanese government set mainstreaming of UHC as a strategic goal in Japan's Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy (May 2013) and pledged a yen loan to make this possible. There will be a yen loan through JICA and technical cooperation from 2017 to 2021 under the Senegal UHC project. The technical cooperation will be provided to three out of 10 departments in three regions in Senegal, and this research will evaluate the effects brought by the technical cooperation, such as the distribution of health insurance and reduced household medical spending. Specifically, the research will conduct on-site survey of household economies and the country’s mutual health organization, Mutuelle de Santé (insurer), in three regions: Thiés, Diourbel, and Tambacounda. The research will be conducted before the launch of cooperation (as of 2017) to collect and analyze data on the insurance participation rate and the current status of the insurer’s governance. Then, the research will quantitatively verify the improvement by conducting the same survey in 2021, after the technical cooperation.
Prior to the agreement on the memorandum of joint research, Dr. Ryota Nakamura, Associate Professor of Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University, and a researcher of HIAS Health, and Dr. Yukichi Mano, Assistant Professor of the Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, visited the sites and carried out preliminary survey in cooperation with the Human Development Department, JICA, and JICA Senegal Office (Bureau de la JICA au Senegal).