By Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
A total of 50 women in the Niger Delta have benefited from a health insurance scheme established by the Deputy Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr. Solomon Eke.
Speaking during the official launch of the programme titled ‘Healthcare and Women Empowerment Scheme’ in Rumurolu, Obio/Akpor weekend, Eke said the initiative was an attempt to address the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by empowering women who are in need.
The deputy council boss, who is a Senator of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), said the women were registered with N7, 500 each at the Obio Cottage Hospital to enable them access free healthcare for one year.
He explained that the scheme includes medical check up, provision of drugs and counselling for pregnant mothers, while an interest free loan of N300, 000 was opened to assist those experiencing difficulty in their businesses, adding that the programme would be extended to other communities to benefit more people.
“The idea is that when they (the women) are sick, they know where to go, and we are taking advantage of an arrangement we have with SPDC to impact positively on our people. The company has invested in the hospital, so there are facilities there.
“Again, as community women, they contribute money to help themselves before now. So to energise them I decided to put N300, 000 in their purse, so that if any member is in difficulty, she can go there and collect a loan that is interest-free.