Kwara State Health Insurance Agency on Tuesday inaugurated another regional office in Lafiagi, Edu local government of the state to serve the people of Kwara North.
This comes two weeks after opening same at General Hospital Offa to render services for communities under Offa and Oyun local governments.
The Lafiagi’s office, which is located inside the General Hospital Lafiagi, is designed for communities in Edu, Patigi and some parts of Ifelodun local governments.
At the opening ceremony on Tuesday, the Kwara First Lady Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, said the step further demonstrates that the government is sensitive to the yearnings of people and their right to a decent life.
Represented by the wife of the TIC Chairman for Edu LG, Mrs. Aminat Aliyu, Ambassador AbdulRazaq implored the people in the catchment areas to embrace the programme to enhance their health status.
She hailed the leadership of Kwara State Health Insurance Agency for their ceaseless efforts to make the health policies and programmes of the administration a reality.
The First Lady said the government will not relent in its efforts and investments in projects that can raise the living standards of the citizens
The interactive session attracted the TIC Chairman for Edu LG Hon. Aliyu Labasa, represented by Hon Abdullahi Zainab; representative of the Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Sanni Muhammad Lukpan; some community and religious leaders; healthcare providers from primary healthcare centers in Edu and Patigi; existing beneficiaries of the insurance scheme; and dozens of residents from Edu and Patigi.
Executive Secretary, state Health Insurance Agency, Dr Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, in her introductory remarks, said the move to open regional offices in several parts of the state was to widen the awareness of people about the concept and deepen their access to the affordable healthcare services.
“Today, we are here and excited to officially open the second hub in the state, in the great town of Lafiaji.
This office will serve Edu, Pategi, and parts of Ifelodun LGAs of the state. These regional hubs will provide the same services to the people in these catchment areas, just as we would have provided from our office in Ilorin,” she said.
“We understand that because health insurance provision to the populace in Nigeria is still very new, we have an arduous task ahead of us to ensure that every resident of Kwara is familiar with the concept of health insurance, and understand the benefits that would accrue to them once they onboard”.
She said the insurance is the only financing vehicle available to subsidize health services and which draws in all segments of the population equitably for an improved access to quality of health services.
According to her, the insurance scheme is segmented into three groups. The first group is designed for the aged and vulnerable
people at no cost. The second group is for the artisans and with token registration sum, while the soon-to-be launched third category is for the civil servants and pensioners.
The Executive Secretary, while giving a breakdown of existing beneficiaries from Edu and Patigi, said the agency has captured at least 3,878 enrollees from the region, all of who, she explained, have since been accessing medical care through different health facilities.
“Currently, the enrollees from Edu and Patigi are as follows: Comprehensive Health Centre (169); District Health Unit, Lafiagi (217); Maternity/Clinic Bacita (226); Maternity/ Dispensary, Tsaragi (219); Model Primary Healthcare Gbadagun (152); Model Primary Healthcare Kanka (173); General Hospital Lafiagi (793); General Hospital Patigi (893); Comprehensive Health Centre Rogun (92); Infant Welfare Clinic Patigi (311); Maternity and Dispensary Rifun (153); Model Primary Healthcare Kpada (208); and
PHC Edogi Kpansanako (272).
She urged other residents of Lafiagi, Patigi and their neighbouring communities who have not enrolled their families to do so, saying that it would earn them access to quality and cheap medical services.
Chief Medical Director (CMD), General Hospital Lafiagi, Dr. Saliu Bolakale, said the size of people that enrolled for the programme has continued to increase, thereby lending credence to the health intervention of the administration.
He listed laboratory tests and treatment of malaria, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as antenatal and postnatal care as parts of services they render under the insurance programme.
Mallam Abdullahi Sambo and Mallam Ibrahim Haruna are among the enrollees who gave testimonies about the benefits they have been enjoying from the health initiative, commending the government for its people-focused projects.