Kwara State Government has enrolled additional 21,750 indigents in free health insurance package for the next one year, with Abuja calling Kwara a model state for other subnational entities in health insurance coverage.
Added to 29,000 Kwarans sponsored through the FG-funded Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) which the State invested in, the 21,750 new enrollees bring the total beneficiaries of free healthcare in the state to 51,750 for 2022-2023.
At the official launch of the Phase II of health insurance enrollment in Ilorin on Friday, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said the administration has invested heavily in the procurement of new medical equipment and employment health personnel to boost the state’s capacity to deliver quality healthcare services to an average Kwaran.
He said with the 21,750 indigents newly enrolled into the State free health insurance scheme, the administration was making another landmark achievement in the health sector.
The programme was organized by the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency (KWHIA) under Dr. Olubunmi Jettawo-Winter.
“We are writing another success story of our administration today. Today, we are enrolling 21,750 indigents into our free health insurance scheme. Added to some 29,000 indigents whose subscriptions we have also renewed under the Basic Health Insurance Provision Fund, this brings to 51,750 the tally of people who will access free healthcare for the year 2022-2023. I am glad that thousands of working class people have also subscribed on their own,” the Governor said.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mamman Saba Jibril, AbdulRazaq said the scheme covers antenatal care, deliveries, surgeries, diabetes and asthma, among other chronic and non-chronic illnesses for the beneficiaries.
“This explains why our state is emerging as a bright spot in national health indices,” he said.
“This did not just happen. It is all a culmination of our serious efforts in the sector. Our investments in new medical gadgets, facilities, and personnel have boosted our capacity to offer improved healthcare delivery.”
The Governor said for the first time in the State, the administration has made available N100m equity funds to enroll the indigents, adding that the government has also paid the counterpart funds that qualified Kwara to be part of the BHCPF programme of the Federal Government.
He commended the Executive Secretary of the Agency Dr. Olubunmi Jettawo-Winter and her team for doing a good job, and appreciated the people of the State for their confidence in the programme.
The event was well attended by government officials and first class traditional rulers, including the Kwara First Lady Ambassador (Mrs) Olufolake AbdulRqzaq who participated online; House of Assembly member and Chairman Committee on Health Hon. Rasaq Owolabi; State Commissioner for Communications Bode Towoju; Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Prof. Adekunle Dunmade; representative of the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Oluwatosin Fakayode;
Executive Secretary Kwara State Health Insurance Agency Jettawo-Winter; Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency Prof. Nusirat Elelu; and North Central Coordinator for the National Health Insurance Agency Mr. Laja Abere-oran.
The royal fathers in attendance were the representative of the Emir of Ilorin and Alangua Gaa-Akanbi, Alhaji AbdulAkeem Usman; Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Yahaya Muhammed Alebiosu; Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya; Olomu of Omu-aran, HRM Oba Abdulraheem Adeoti; Olusin of Ijara-Isin Pharmacist Julius Ademola; Alaran of Aran-orin, Oba Olusegun Rotimi; and Oloro of Oro Ago, Oba Johnson Dada; among other traditional rulers.
First Lady of Kwara State, Ambassador (Mrs) Olufolake AbdulRqzaq, for her part, said the programme was a clear testament of sincere commitment of the present administration to the welfare of the people of Kwara State.
The First Lady said her office and the Ajike People Support Centre have been complementing the government’s efforts by enrolling people living with sickle cell into the scheme in 2021 and 2022 to provide care to the sickle cell warriors across the state.
Dr. Olubunmi Jettawo-Winter, for her part, said the government had launched the scheme in 2020 to offer quality and affordable healthcare services to all Kwarans, covering at least 10,000 indigents for the take-off.
She said the Agency had between the year 2020 and 2022 performed 107 surgeries, including 48 cesarean sections and 138 deliveries; managed over 200 diabetic and hypertensive cases; with at least 1,324 other services during the period.
Dr. Jettawo-Winter said the Governor has approved an additional N100 Million equity fund for this year (2022).
The Executive Secretary thanked the Governor for committing so much resources to the sector, noting that the launching of the health insurance scheme alone was enough to rate AbdulRazaq high in caregiving.
She also applauded the commitments of donor agencies, Kwarans in the diaspora, corporate bodies, well-meaning individuals, and community associations among other groups that contributed to their success story.
Hon. Rasaq Owolabi described the health Insurance Scheme as impactful, given the size of people that have benefited so far, calling on all citizens to take full advantage of it.
He lauded the Governor for paying a premium on public health safety and the well-being of the masses, and appreciated all traditional rulers in the State for playing important roles in the health coverage campaigns.
Oba Ismaila Yahaya Alebiosu and Dr. Haliru Yahaya, in their separate remarks, acknowledged that the State is progressing with various developmental projects and people-focused programmes of Governor AbdulRazaq, praying God to continue to guide him aright.
Oba Ismail said the traditional rulers and the people of the southern part have seen AbdulRazaq’s excellent performance and expressed their gratitude for making a good impact in the entire Kwara.
Laja Abere-oran, in his goodwill message, commended the government for its commitment to improve quality health coverage and for giving the Health State Insurance Agency an enabling ground to excel, tasking Dr. Jettawo-Winter and her team to do more.
He said Kwara stands shoulder high among its peers in the country because of its investments in health insurance.