Anambra targets 28,246 indigents for healthcare funds

By Emma Elekwa, Onitsha

Anambra State Government has disclosed its plans to begin enrollment of no fewer than 28, 246 less privileged indigenes into a special healthcare fund next month.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala disclosed this on Tuesday in a press briefing to commemorate the 2020 International Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day themed, “Health for All: Protect Everyone”, marked every December 12.

He said the event offered the Ministry opportunity to reflect on how it had fared in achieving UHC in the state, adding that the enrollment was part of government’s efforts at making universal health coverage a reality in the state.

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He said, “Let me inform you that state government after meeting up with it counterpart funding, has received the sum of N338 million as its own quota of the Federal Government’s Basic Healthcare Provision Fund through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“This Fund through the state’s health insurance scheme (ASHIA), is mapped out to cater for the health needs of the vulnerable citizens in the state.

“The beneficiaries selected from the 326 wards in the state included the less privileged pregnant women, under-five children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.

“With this enrollment, our health indices will improve, maternal mortality, infant and neonatal deaths will also reduce.”

While pledging government commitment to the protection of residents from catastrophic losses and ill-health as Nigeria battled the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, Okpala urged them to adhere strictly to the pandemic protocols.

Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, revealed that over 90, 000 residents had enrolled into the state’s health insurance scheme.

He called on people of the state to enroll into the scheme to enjoy access to quality healthcare with minimal financial burden.