The campaign for health insurance deal for Nigerian performing arts industry championed by veteran dancer, Kafayat Shafau-Ameh, also known as Kaffy, has received strategic support from Avon HMO, a leading health management organization.
Through this first-of-its-kind partnership, Nigerian creatives will now enjoy healthcare coverage tailored to their needs through the Kaffy Health Plan by Avon HMO. Currently, less than 5% of Nigerians have health insurance and with the youth constituting a bulk of the population, AVON HMO’s new plans will further improve access to quality healthcare.
At the launch of the new health plans, Kaffy noted that the new health plans couldn’t have come at a better time, considering that an estimated 98% of Nigerian dancers lacked health insurance cover. She also identified a lack of awareness about wellbeing as a bane of the creative industry.
“This is the first of its kind milestone for the performing arts industry particularly, dancers. The journey to a health insurance deal for my artistic community has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, we cannot bring back to those whom we have lost, quite avoidably due to lack of access to basic health care. However, this is just the first part of the work.”
To underscore the importance of health to dancers, Kaffy explained, “Dance is a creative expression that comes from within. Thus, the spirit, soul and body must be in a healthy state. AVON is a market leader, and we are delighted to partner with them to further deepen health coverage among creatives. The Kaffy health plans offer annual coverage, and are flexible, with options for individuals and families. This is inclusive and it ensures that no one else is left behind”
Also speaking on behalf of Adesimbo Bello-Ukiri, CEO of Avon HMO, Atinuke Kolade, the company’s Head of Sales, Retention and Growth, reinforced the commitment of Avon HMO to improving access to healthcare among Nigerian creatives.
“Over the years, we’ve been involved in a series of conversations about the plight of people in the entertainment industry. Hardly a year goes by without a prominent artist, young and old alike, making the rounds on social media for a medical condition they need funds to treat. It’s sad that this happens and while people are usually able to raise funds for these individuals, we as a health management organization believe there’s a better way.
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“The question is: would these people have gotten to the point where they would need crowdfunding to pay medical bills if they had a healthcare plan? We don’t think so. In fact, having a health plan gives access to preventive medical checks that make it easier to spot a medical condition in its infant stages before it becomes too late. Nobody deserves to be stranded for an inability to pay medical bills; this is why we exist and what we’ve done in partnership with Kaffy is an example of how we can protect people in the creative and entertainment fields.” She added.
Also lending his voice, Dr Babajide Oyeduntan, the Head of Retail Sales at Avon HMO said Many HMOs have focused on offering their services to corporates and large organisations, to the detriment of the public – until recent times.
“Before Avon, no other HMO had retail plans but now there’s some progress in that regard. However, we cannot stop; we should always be looking at ways to make it easier for people to have access to health insurance. This demands a lot of thinking outside the box when it comes to the informal sector. Professional dancers fall into this category and with this partnership and launch of the Kaffy health plan, we believe we are taking a step in the right direction, as an organization and industry in general” he said.
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