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NHIS Set to Take Community-Based Health Insurance to Every State

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),

Dr. 'Femi Thomas has stated that the Scheme is set to launch Community

Based Health Insurance Programme (CBHIP) in at least three Local

Government Areas of each state of the federation before the end of the

year.
He made this disclosure at the official flag off of the Ukana West Ward II

Community Based Health Insurance Scehme, which took place at the Primary

Health Center in Ikot – Ideh in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom State,

recently.
According to the NHIS Boss, ''the Scheme is aware that the country has a

very large informal sector and therefore there is no way we can achieve

the presidential mandate of 30% coverage without tapping into the informal

sector”.
''The CBHIP is therefore a veritable tool to ensuring wider coverage,

increased ownership and entrenching the culture of health insurance in the

Nigerian public”; he said.
He further stated that the scheme is ready to invest money and other

material resources to develop the Community Based Health Insurance

Programme all over the country.
''To this end, the scheme has mandated all its offices in the states to

develop the programme in at least three LGAs  before the end of the year”,

Dr. 'Femi stated.
Thomas used the forum to appeal to the state governors to invest more

resources towards developing and sustaining the culture of health

insurance in their states, rather than the various intervention programmes

in the health sector which may not be sustainable on the long run.

''The scheme”, he said, ''has donated an ambulance to the Ikot-Ideh PHC,

so as to demonstrate the standard that the scheme expects state

governments to maintain in all the PHC Centres where CBHI will be

domiciled in all the states of the federation.
Speaking  at the occasion, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Godswill

Akpabio,  who was represented by the State Commissioner of Health, Dr.

Emem Abasi Bassey, said the commitment of the government to the social

contract which existed between it and the people of the state made the

flag off a reality.
The Governor stated that the launch of the CBSHIP is driven by the strong

desire to ensure that effective and affordable healthcare is accessible to

every person in the state, as it will relief the people of the financial

burden associated with health seeking activities, particularly at the

point of care.
Earlier in her welcome address, the country representative of Management

Sciences for Health (MSH), an arm of USAID, Dr. Zipporah Kpamor said the

organization, which is a key technical partner of the state on healthcare

financing, has facilitated the formation of a Technical Working Group that

will co-ordinate and sustain the implementation of the CBSHIP programme.

She said the organization has revived Village Development Committees in

the 15 villages that make up the Ukana West Ward11, as well as the Ward

Development Committee in the area, for community ownership of the project.

She commended NHIS and the government and  people of Akwa Ibom State, for

providing the enabling environment for the success of the flag-off of the

programme .
At the occasion were members of the State Executive Council, leadership of

the Local Government,  traditional rulers and members of the Top

Management Committee of  NHIS.
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