Kwara Health Insurance Agency opens office in Kaiama

…Says govt on course to attain universal health coverage

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

Kwara State Health Insurance Agency has inaugurated a regional office of the agency in Kaiama, Kaiama local government area, assuring the residents of a proper health insurance coverage.

The office which is situated at the premises of Kaiama General Hospital, was aimed at bringing affordable and accessible healthcare delivery to the door steps of the people at the grassroots, according to the
Executive Secretary of the agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, who performed the function.

Dr. Jetawo-Winter described social health insurance as the only financing vehicle available to subsidise health services, and to draw in all segments of the population equitably regardless of socio- economic classification.

“Social health insurance not only seeks to create demand, but also helps to improve the quality of services, through our stringent assessment and accreditation process of health facilities and providers, ahead of being empaneled into our pool of healthcare providers under the scheme,” she said.

“As part of our strategies to ensure that access, and availability of healthcare services are made convenient for beneficiaries, the agency has decided to open regional offices in areas that are much far away from our head office in Ilorin, to feed into our hub (Central Office) in Ilorin”.

She said the agency plans to open five branch offices in Kaiama, Baruten, Edu, Offa, and Irepodun LGAs, out of which three have now been opened, including Kaiama.

“These regional spokes will provide the same services to the people in these catchment areas, just as we would provide from our office in Ilorin. At these regional spokes, potential beneficiaries can register for health insurance, enroll, make inquiries, address complaints and concerns, and offer many more services.

“As you all know, our operations are carried out on a digital platform that allows real time delivery of our services, and information collected are registered on our central database. We also like to use these engagements to familiarize ourselves with the communities, and be better acquainted with common practices.

“We understand that because health insurance provision to the populace in Nigeria is still a very new initiative, 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 enroll.

“We will not stop or relent in our efforts to ensure that Kwara State attains universal health coverage by ensuring that every household has a health insurance cover to protect them from any catastrophic spending as a result of an illness,” she said.

Kwara First Lady, Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq, who was represented by the TIC Vice Chairman, Kaiama, Hajia Fatimoh Jummai,, commended the agency for its efforts at ensuring the attainment of universal health coverage.

She urged the people of the local government to take advantage of the scheme by enrolling themselves in order to enjoy the benefits accrued therefrom.

“We commend the effort of Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in supporting the agency towards attaining universal health coverage especially with the opening of regional offices aimed at bringing affordable and accessible healthcare delivery to the door steps of the people”, she said.

Dr Aminat El-Imam, for her part, said the importance of insurance in attaining universal health coverage cannot be overemphasized, commending the agency for bridging the gaps in the delivery of healthcare services to the people.

“As we gather here today, let us reaffirm our dedication and support for Kwara Health Insurance Agency in its mission to take healthcare delivery to the grassroots”.

Hajia Bello, in her remarks, described the creation of the state Health Insurance Agency as a turning point in the efforts to provide access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Kwarans.

“Today, we celebrate the progress we have made, but we also acknowledge that there is still much work to be done. We must continue to collaborate and strive towards our common goal of providing quality healthcare for all”, she said.

The Wakilin Kaiama, Alhaji Haliru Ahmed assured that the Emirate Council under the Emir of Kaiama would mobilize people at various communities and villages to enroll in the scheme.

Mrs Bilikisu Habib and Ibrahim Abdullahi among other enrollees who gave testimonies at the event, said they have been enjoying affordable healthcare delivery since their enrollment in the scheme, and appreciated the state government for what they described as laudable initiative.

Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter and her team later paid a courtesy visit to Palace of the Emir of Kaiama, Alhaji Omar Sheu Muazu, and were received by the Waziri Kaiama Alhaji Adamu Abdul.


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