Awka – Anambra State Government says it is committed to supporting efforts at achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala disclosed this on Tuesday during the celebration of the Universal Health Coverage Day in Awka, the state capital.
The celebration marked globally every 12th of December, marks the anniversary of the United Nations’ historic and unanimous endorsement of Universal health coverage in 2012, aimed at raising the consciousness of countries and societies on the need to provide people access to quality healthcare without suffering financial hardship.
The global resolve of the UHC is captured in the Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which targets to achieve Universal Health Coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
Commissioner Okpala in his remarks, said the Day provides the opportunity to reflect on the state’s journey towards the achievement of UHC and to acknowledge the support of its partners including European Union and UNICEF in the UHC journey.
“Anambra State aligned with national mandates and is meeting its counterpart obligations. The State Oversight meeting of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) held earlier this month, marked the official transition from BHCPF State Steering Committee to State Oversight Committee in Anambra State. Through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), gateway of BHCPF, the Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) has concluded plans to enroll no fewer than 28,246 vulnerable persons in the state into the State Health Fund. In the same vein, the State Primary Health Care Development Agency has completed the disbursement of funds to public health facilities in the state under the BHCPF,” Okpala said.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Willie Obiano on Health and Executive Secretary of the State Health Insurance Scheme, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi said what Anambra State Government has done through the scheme is to make meaningful headway towards guaranteeing quality of care, access to care and financial risk protection.
He noted that the state had initially commenced efforts at strengthening all the Primary Health Care centres across the state in accomplishment of the vision to improve the quality of healthcare they offer, adding that the ASHIA on its part, ensures that citizens are able to afford the services rendered under the scheme.
Onyemaechi revealed that Anambra State holds the record as the state with the highest pool of informal sector enrollees.
“As at today, over 30,000 persons from the informal sector have enrolled under the ASHIA and this attests to the trust the people have in the system. We have so far, over 90,000 enrollees under the scheme and our indices show that over 80,000 enrollees will renew their premium in the new year. This goes to show that our people are beginning to have confidence in the system and this will overall help us to achieve the UHC,” Onyemaechi maintained.
Speaking on behalf of partners on the initiative, the project manager of the European Union Health Systems Projects in Anambra State, Dr Ndubuisi Orji said the essence of the project is to support the state to strengthen its health systems.