RNMU leaders were requested to make occupational hazards claims on time to avoid any potential disclaimer of the Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) when it comes to pay benefits.
RNMU leaders were trained on insurance, Pension Scheme, and Occupational Hazards while a particular emphasize was put on the pension and occupational hazards insurance.
Yvonne Mujawabega is the Director for Maternity Leave benefits at the RSSB who facilitated the discussions held between the 7th and 8th July 2016 in Musanze District, Northern Province.
RNMU leaders told how occupational hazards are a real risk for nurses and midwives, with particularly accidental injections and potential HIV infection or the risk of contracting tuberculosis, a real daily danger.
As an example, they cited a case of a member of RNMU, Jovia Murekatete 29, who accidentally injected herself with HIV infected syringe, took prophylaxis drugs, but is suffering from a vision impairment as a result of its side effects.
She is out of job since 2009, and hasn’t received any compensation from the RRSB, as the claim her loss of sight is directly connected to her profession. A dispute that is now being settled in the court of law.
“This is how it’s difficult in the nursing and midwifery profession. It is highly likely that you can’t predict what will happen if you take drugs. What will be the side effects?” asked Léodomir Harerimana, a nurse at the Nemba Hospital, a Gakenke District Hospital, who also a district leader at RNMU.
In Jovia Murekatete case, the claim at RSSB would have been contracting HIV effects. Lucky enough she didn’t contract the disease, but a side effect came in a year after taking the ARVs.
It is now up to her, assisted by RNMU to prove that her current illness is related to her work in the case now being trialed by the high court of kigali.
One of the reason of the complication of her case is that a claim mightn’t have been filled on time thus a reminder that this is very important.
“A claim at RRSB must be made four days after an occupation hazard occurs. And this is very important for benefits payment. I am urging you to always make this claim after any occupational hazard,” insisted Mujawabega.
Mujawabega stressed that RNMU leaders must be aware if employers have paid contribution and on time.
She stressed that for occupation hazards insurance, a contribution of 2% of salary is paid on behalf of mandatory members by solely employers and “there is no employee contribution towards this benefit”.
For this benefit, RSSB protects employee at work, travelling to work or on a work related journey. This insurance also covers an occupational disease that is caused by work.
“Here again, an employee must have a traveling document, issued by the employer for RRSB to pay the benefit. This is equally important,” she elaborated.
When satisfying the criteria to make a claim, the benefits cover for an employee are free medical care, daily sickness allowances, incapacity social security benefits, incapacity lump sum benefits.
She explained that insurance is a right guaranteed by the Rwanda Constitution in its Article 10.
The Pension scheme aims at helping the worker who becomes old and incapable of working for a salary or becomes invalid and incapable of living by working, helping the survivors of the deceased worker, and benefits can be paid to the insured person himself when old or invalid or his eligible survivors for a contribution rates of 3% of the basic salary paid by the employer and 3% by the employee.
Mainly, RSSB manages five schemes namely Pensions, Occupational Hazards, Medical Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) and Maternity Leave Benefits.