Kwara State Governor, Dr AbdulFatah Ahmed on Tuesday disclosed that over 105, 000 low-income people had enrolled for the State Community Health Insurance programme since inception in 2007.
The governor made this known at the State Health Insurance Research and Advocacy conference for stakeholders held in Ilorin.
Ahmed, who was represented at the conference by his deputy, Elder Peter Kishira said that over 600,000 clinical patients’ visits had been made since the beginning of the programme.
He said that the State aimed at capturing over 1 million people in the rural areas with the signing of an MOU in February 2013 to implement community health insurance scheme.
The governor said that the ambition of his administration was to extend the scheme to every rural dweller in the state and ultimately enroll all civil servants in the state.
Ahmed lauded the country’s adoption of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aimed at providing quality and affordable healthcare to majority of the people especially at the grassroots.
He said that the objective could only be attained with adequate funding of healthcare delivery services.
“However, in view of the limited capacity of low income villagers to access quality healthcare, it is pertinent to broaden access through subsidised community health insurance.
”Qualitative healthcare for the people was essential to stabilise the socio-economic and political development of any nation, is a sine-qua-non.
“That the nation has adopted universal health coverage is not only desirable but is a clarion call on government to provide quality health care for the people.
“However, the attainment of universal healthcare can only be ensured through effective and efficient health insurance,” the governor said.
Ahmed said that a law known as Community Health Insurance Law had been enacted in October 2012 to ensure sustainability of the health insurance programme.
He explained that the law would make the State prioritise provision of healthcare to low income groups through community health insurance.
He said that Kwara had upgraded not less than 50 primary healthcare facilities in addition to carrying out comprehensive rehabilitation and remodeling of five General Hospitals in state with the state of the art equipment.