By Lucy Osuizigbo-Okechukwu
Awka, Dec. 22, 2020 The Anambra Government on Tuesday said that no fewer than 28,246 indigent indigenes in the state would soon benefit from its special healthcare scheme.
Dr Vincent Okpala, State commissioner for Health made the disclosure during a news conference to commemorate the 2020 International Universal Health Coverage Day marked annually on Dec.12.
The International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day was set aside by the United Nations in 2012 to raise awareness of the need for strong, equitable and resilient health systems for all.
The theme of the programme is “Health for All: Protect Everyone”.
Okpala said that enrollment into the scheme, which will start on Jan. 4, was part of government’s efforts at making universal health coverage a reality in the state.
He said that the beneficiaries – vulnerable and less privileged pregnant women, under-five children, the elderly and persons with disabilities, were selected from the 326 wards in the state.
Today’s commemoration is an opportunity to reflect on how far we have gone in achieving UHC in the state.
“Let me inform you that state government after meeting up with it counterpart funding, has received the sum of N338 million as it own quota of the Federal Government’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“This Fund, through the state’s health insurance scheme (ASHIA), is mapped out to cater for the health needs of the vulnerable citizens in the state.
” With this enrollment, our health indices will improve, maternal mortality, infant and neonatal deaths will also reduce,’’ the commissioner said
Okpala said that the state government was working hard to ensure protection of residents from catastrophic losses and ill-health as Nigeria battled the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
He urged residents to adhere to preventive protocols against COVID-19 pandemic.
Also speaking, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), said that over 90, 000 residents had enrolled into the state’s health insurance scheme.
Onyemaechi urged members of the public to enroll into the scheme to enjoy access to quality healthcare with less financial burden.