By Martins Ifijeh
The Kwara State Government has kickstarted a series of advocacy activities preparatory to the take off the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme (KWHIS); a state-wide mandatory health insurance programme that will improve access to quality, equitable and affordable healthcare services in the state.
The state plans, by the advocacy, to engage and prepare stakeholders for the successful take off of the scheme.
The inaugural event was kicked off on February 5th with a media chat with the Interim Chairman, Kwara Health Insurance Scheme Committee, Dr. Bunmi Jetawo-Winter who explained that the scheme was a scale-up of the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) that was started in 2007 with the support of PharmAccess Foundation and the Dutch Health Insurance Fund.
She added that the CBHIS commenced in the Edu local government area and expanded to 11 local government areas by 2009 across all the three senatorial districts and provided coverage at the time to over 200,000 residents of the state.
Jewato-Winter said the “CBHIS proved a major success and generated significant impact in healthcare delivery and access within the state. It garnered momentous attention locally and internationally and received the Financial Times/ IFC Transformational Business Award for Achievement in Sustainable Development: Maternal and Infant Health,” she said.
The gains of the CBHIS, she said paved the way for the adoption of a state-wide mandatory health insurance scheme (KWHIS) that will now extend financial coverage for healthcare services to all residents of Kwara State.
“The mandatory health insurance scheme which is being launched will be anchored and financed by the state government, but will continue to receive technical support during implementation from PharmAccess Foundation until the structures are established,” she said.
The Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation, Mrs. Njide Ndili, expressed pleasure with the progress made so far and commended the state governor, Dr. Abdul Fatah Ahmed, for his unwavering commitment to providing health cover for all residents of Kwara State.
“Kwara State remains a front runner to achieve universal Health Coverage and as an organisation, we will continue to lend our support to achieve this goal,” Ndili assured.
PharmAccess Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to connecting more people in sub-Saharan Africa to affordable and quality healthcare while leveraging on digital technology to promote efficiency and transparency.