Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
The Nasarawa State government is planning to engage about 2,000 Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) agents to facilitate universal health coverage programme in the state.
The Commissoner for Health, Dr. Roseline Kela, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lafia, the state capital, further disclosed that in the first phase, 580 CHIPS agents and 116 community mobilisers have been engaged to render services at the community level.
The commissoner said: “We are piloting the CHIPS agent project that is expected to facilitate the engagement of the communities to the health facilities by ensuring that women and children requiring health services are provided with basic health care and promptly refered to the nearest health centres when the need arises.
“It is hoped that this interventions will improve the lives and well-being of the people of Nasarawa State as well as reduce financial embarrassment at the point of seeking health care and ultimately achieve univeral health coverage.”
She said that the theme at the global level was apt because it has been observed that many people find themselves pushed into extreme poverty because of health-related expenditures.
“The situation in this country is not different as out-of-pocket expenditure still accounts for over 60 per cent of hospital expenditure. The story is not different at the state level,” she said.
Kela however concluded that as a people-oriented governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura has spearheaded several programmes and projects that have taken health care services right to the heart of the community.