1500 indigenes of Okija Community in Anambra State have been enrolled in the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme.
The enrollment was sponsored single-handedly by a philanthropic organization, Dozzy foundation.
At the flag-off for the Health Insurance initiative held at Okija General Hospital, officials of the State Health Insurance Agency, ASHIA, undertook the registration of all the enrollees which comprised both the young and the aged.
The premium will see the enrollees access a wide range of quality medical services provided under the scheme free of charge for a period of one year.
The sponsors of the initiative, Chief Dan Chukwudozie and his wife, Lady Ada explained that they decided to undertake the initiative to improve the health condition of their people by providing them access to quality healthcare delivery.
They said the scheme provides a veritable partnership platform for wealthy Anambra individuals to salvage the problem of poor health financing by their people, assuring that more individuals will be supported to join the scheme.
Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke said the ASHIA was established to uplift the health status of people of the State.
“I want to commend Chief Chukwudozie and his wife for this gesture. The government will only evolve strategies to better the lives of the people but unless the people take ownership of such initiatives, they cannot achieve the lofty expectations for which they were developed. What Dozzy Foundation has done will go a long to ensure that this scheme succeeds and for that, Anambra State Government is grateful,” Obiano said.
He further called on more individuals and corporate organizations to emulate the Foundation.
In a remark, the Executive Secretary Anambra State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi explained that the sponsorship is the outcome of the adoption model which the agency developed to encourage wealthy persons to buy health insurance premiums for their dependents.
According to him, “through this initiative, we are having buy-ins into the scheme from all over the state and this places us on a pedestal to achieve Universal Health Coverage in the state in the near future. This is a legacy project of the Obiano administration and we are delighted that our people are finding it beneficial.”
He said the Agency will continue to work through its quality assurance unit to ensure that all healthcare providers under the scheme adhere to the stipulated standards in the Enrollees charter.
“This project is hinged on trust and we cannot allow any health provider under the scheme to undermine our efforts. We are planning on having a kind of Townhall meeting where we bring the healthcare providers and the enrollees under one roof with the agency moderating. The idea is to unearth factors that may hamper the progress of the scheme and deal with them. This is how far we are willing to go to ensure quality service to our enrollees,” Dr. Onyemaechi assured.
Some beneficiaries of the initiative, James Ewuzie, and Bridget Nwangbo expressed appreciation to the benefactor for the opportunity to enroll free of charge under the health insurance scheme and prayed for more blessings upon them.