No fewer than 700 vulnerable residents of Ikorodu-North LCDA on Thursday, benefitted from the free health insurance scheme, provided by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), in pursuant of its commitment to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the state. The free Ilera Eko registration exercise, which took place along Agunfoye Road, Adamo, had vulnerable residents from 16 CDAs in the area in attendance.
The programme tagged “Community storm 2.0: Bridging the gap for a healthier Lagos”, was said to be the second phase of the enrolment of the vulnerable and indigent residents of Lagos State on Ilera Eko healthcare scheme, with the goal of reducing out-of-pocket health expenditure, thereby reducing poverty.
Speaking with Mrs Tawa Osinowo, the team lead of the arm of LASHMA in charge of the exercise, Eko Social Health Alliance (EKOSHA) on the programme, she said it is in line with the Lagos State agenda to reduce morbidity, mortality and poverty in the state.
Although the Ilera Eko healthcare offer for the residents will last for a year, she said the people can renew it after the expiration, once their status have become better than what is it.
Osinowo, who explained, how the team has visited other grassroots areas of the state like Alimosho LGA, Igando, Agbado Oke Odo, Ikorodu Central LCDA, Igbogbo Bayeiku, and others for the same programme, said the free health insurance scheme for vulnerable and indigent residents is being sponsored by the state government in collaboration with UNICEF.
“Normally, to have a caesarian section in the hospital, you have to pay a tangible amount of money, but with Ilera Eko, CS is free, childcare is free. It is also to reduce poverty, because when you pay too much money from your pocket, it can lead to poverty.
“It’s a one year programme, and within that one year duration; we don’t expect people to be where they are. We expect that within that period, they have gained one skill or the other, and so after the expiration of the offer, we expect them to pay. We also have the option of installment payment, which can be spread across the year for easy payment”, she further stated.
The Director of ICT, LASHMA, Mr Sefiu Oladejo, who coordinated the LASHMA team with the CDA officials for the successful outcome of the programme, narrated how he had several meetings with the CDA chairman for the selection process, in ensuring that the people whom the provision was made for are the real beneficiaries.
He also hinted on the parameters used in selecting the healthcare facilities on the list of Ilera Eko, saying for any hospital to be included on the list of facilities to provide healthcare services to residents, they must have been accredited by Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), and must have also gone through infrastructural test, before they can be enlisted as a service provider.
“For any hospital to be on the scheme, it is voluntary for the hospital to come in. They will pass through some tests in terms of accreditation by HEFAMAA, after which they apply to LASHMA, and then we go to inspect their facility, quality of staff, and infrastructure. Once they pass the accreditation test, then they empanel them. So any enrollee can choose them” he explained.
Speaking with the CEO of Imherion Hospital, one of the facilities accredited in the area to provide healthcare services to residents, Mr Joseph Imherion, he stated the readiness of the hospital to provide maximum care for patients, especially as the hospital recently opened a new extension of the main branch in the area.
He extended his heartfelt gratitude to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the kind gesture, saying ”I have been living in the state for close to 45 to 50 years, and I have never seen an administration coming into our locality to cater for the health of the people like this. I sincerely want to appreciate the government for such giant stride”.
Some of the CDA chairmen who spoke with pharmanewsonline expressed their profound gratitude to the state government for remembering their people and bringing such offer to them. They acknowledged that Ikorodu-North LCDA, has never witnessed such mega healthcare provision since inception, until this one came their way.
They however urged the government to remember the LCDA for other social interventions to alleviate the poverty of vulnerable residents.
The duo of Hon. Rasheed Olamilekan, chairman Autocos CDA, Adamo and Mr Waliu Balogun, chairman, Pacesetter CDA, Akanun Laara, expressed their appreciation thus “We are very happy that our people turned out en mass and we really appreciate the government for such good gestures.
“There is nothing like good health, when you have health, you have everything. For the government to recognise that we should benefit from this Ilera Eko healthcare scheme, ordinarily we know how much it will cost to have such an opportunity, but they are giving us free healthcare for one year, they have given us everything”.
Also, both Mr Jeremiah Adejo Jackson, chairman, Wazobia CDA, Akanun Laara, and Mr Otenaike Adekunle, chairman, Banana Estate CDA, joined in thanking the State Governor Sanwo-Olu for his magnanimity towards the people of Ikorodu-North LCDA.
“We want to appreciate Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for providing us with such an opportunity to have this programme in our community. Naturally, we were not expecting such magnanimity from the government, but we are happy with what we are seeing at such a time like this.
“Prior to this time, we have not had such a mega programme, so we are so grateful to the government. Like Oliver Twist, we are still expecting more from other sectors of the government, as we are enjoying this health dividend of democracy today”, they appealed.