FCT Offers Free Health Insurance Subscription to Pregnant Women

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

As part of efforts to improve access to healthcare services to Nigerians and to lift the burden of health bill on the poor, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration has launched a campaign to register woman, especially pregnant women in the health insurance scheme.

Among the highlights of the event held yesterday in Abuja were the registration of many women into the health insurance scheme and presentation of 500 free safe delivery kits worth N50,000 each to the women drawn from the Abuja Municipal Area Council.

The health insurance campaign, which is targeting to enroll over 100,000 residents of the FCT, will also offer free registration for the poor pregnant women and vulnerable persons.

Speaking at the ceremony to kick-start the enrolment and distribution of delivery kits to vulnerable and pregnant FCT women in Abuja, the FCT Mandate Secretary in-charge of Health Services, Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe, said the free subscription for pregnant women in FCT and distribution of safe delivery kits are part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Tinubu -led administration.

She said the enrolment is going to take place physically in the 62 wards in Abuja municipal area council.

According to her, “The essence of today’s meeting is to sensitise our people about the health insurance scheme. The scheme will enable individuals and families to access healthcare free without paying hospital bills from their pockets.

“Also, the poor and vulnerable persons are to be registered for free into the scheme.”

Under the health insurance scheme, Adedolapo said the person’s health is not only insured but to a large extent assured.

“When you register in our health insurance, with the way we have digitalised it, you don’t have to go hospitals close to you. You can at a distant place from home and yet be able to access hospital care from any of the hospitals.

“The FCT health insurance scheme entitles one to access healthcare from any hospital in Abuja. The health insurance scheme is a renewed initiative, and as part of the initiative, we have decided that no pregnant woman would die because of child birth in Abuja.

“The current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu considers it as an abomination for any pregnant woman to die giving birth to a child. The FCT is also providing a free child delivery kit for all pregnant women who register under the health insurance scheme in the FCT,” she said.

The Mandate Secretary said every pregnant woman that enrolled in the health insurance scheme in Abuja will get one pack of safe delivery kits for free.

Speaking on the idea behind the initiative, Fasawe said the health insurance is focusing more on women and children to ensure that the issues of child mortality and material deaths are reduced to barest minimum.

She said: “It is not only during delivery that women have complications after child delivery. It has been documented that there are post-natal infections that pregnant women have that they don’t treat but they come back towards the point of death and it leads to death. The health insurance programme covers antenatal care, care of pregnant woman and it also covers the women during delivery.

“We have realised that there are many women who go to tradition birth attendant for instance, they go to primary health centres for delivery and these people’s instruments that are not sterilised, they use blade, they use scissors and things that have been used before but this pack here is sterile.

“The instructions on the safe delivery kits is that once it is opened, it should not be used again. It is meant for single use and to be used during child delivery. It will protect the child, the mother and even the healthcare giver.”

According to Fasawe the essence of distributing the safe delivery kits is to encourage pregnant women to register in the health insurance scheme.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for FCT, who was represented by Dr. Abdullahi Kaura Mata, said though the population of FCT is now over three million, the number already registered for the health insurance is not yet substantial enough.

While commending her efforts in driving innovative programmes that will improve health conditions of the people, the minister charged the Mandate Secretary and her team to work on ascertaining the accurate statistics on the state of child mortality rates and maternal deaths in the FCT.

On her part, the FCT Director of USAID, Dr. Frances-Lois Adewumi, said the organisation is supporting the FCT Health Insurance scheme to ensure wider coverage for the residents of the capital city.

A similar campaign initiative was launched by the FCT Mandate Secretary for Health in other Area Councils including Gwagwalada and Abaji.

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