By Stephen Adeleye
The Kogi State Health Insurance Agency (KGSHIA) said it had enrolled 31,491 vulnerable residents, under its Vulnerable Group Health Insurance Programme, (VGHIP), across the state’s 21 Local Government Areas.
It identified the eligible enrollees to include pregnant women, children under five years of age, people with disability, the poorest of the poor and the elderly.
Dr. Adekunle Aledare, the Executive Secretary of KGSHIA, disclosed this at the agency’s maiden Media parley with journalists on Wednesday, in Lokoja.
Aledare noted that in the last one year and five months, the agency had been able to develop health programmes to rapidly scale up health insurance coverage of Kogi state residents.
”Under the vulnerable group health insurance programme, we have enrolled 31,391 persons (131 per ward) across the 21 LGAs awaiting access to care, following the training of providers next month.”
He noted that 120 pregnant women had also been enrolled under the Sen. Smart Adeyemi Care, in the Kogi West senatorial district of the state.
Aledare said that in recent times, there was a global target to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030, which means all people should have access to to quality healthcare services at affordable costs, without suffering any financial hardships.
He noted that the National Council on Health in 2015 charged states to establish their state social health insurance agency, to enable the country achieve Universal Health Coverage.
The bill establishing the Kogi agency was passed into law on Nov.18, 2018, and the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, assented to the law on April 24, 2019, he said.
The agency was mandated to provide equitable access to quality and affordable healthcare services for all residents of Kogi State, irrespective of socio-economic status, to ensure universal healthcare coverage by 2030.
In addition, the state government had demonstrated political and financial commitment to the agency, by providing it with a befitting office space, releases for capacity building of the staff, study tour, and accreditation of facilities, Aledare said.
He added that the state government had also developed Operation Guidelines for the agency, training of accredited service providers and sensitisation of relevant stakeholders.
The executive secretary, therefore, urged CSOs, NGOs, individuals, groups, associations, families, philanthropists, and well-meaning Nigerians to key into the programmes and register their loved ones. (NAN)