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Kwara governor says health insurance scheme will boost life expectancy, economy

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has launched a health insurance scheme for residents, saying the initiative would boost life expectancy and the economy.

At least, 10,000 indigents have been covered in the first phase of the scheme, which is free for the vulnerable.However, the state is working to onboard premium policy-holders in the formal and informal sectors of the economy, AbdulRazaq said.

The 10,000 were captured in a state-wide pilot registration of indigents last March.The governor said the launch was another major step in his administration’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and called on residents to take full advantage of the scheme.

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“A major agenda of this administration is to ensure that Kwara ticks all the right boxes and achieves the SDGs by 2030. This is beyond empty slogans. Yesterday, we began the disbursement of ‘owo isowo’ (capital) to 21,623 petty traders under the Kwara State Social Investment Programme (KWASSIP), which also includes safety nets for the aged and vulnerable and seeks to end extreme poverty in our state.

“The launching, today, of this health insurance scheme is a direct response of the administration to SDG 3, which is access to good health and well-being. We are starting this scheme by onboarding at least 10,000 indigents as a test-run. These indigents have had their premium fully paid. This means the health insurance is 100 per cent free for them. We hope to enrol many more indigents in the coming years,” he said.

Commending the state’s partners for their support and the health sector for hard work, he said his administration was proud to invest in that regard.

His words: “Health insurance boosts life expectancy of our people, promotes good health and ultimately strengthens the economy. It has the potential to prevent families from sudden descent into poverty as a result of unforeseen health crises.

“The insurance scheme takes care of basic health issues before they become complicated. Studies have shown that most of the issues found in secondary and tertiary health institutions arose majorly because they were not tackled on time.”

Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, said the launch at a time of global health emergency and dwindling resources underscored the governor’s commitment to offering the people the most basic health services.

Monique Dolfing Vogelenzang of PharmAccess said the launch showed that Kwara government was taking a lead in healthcare funding at a time of pandemic, urging citizens to take full advantage of the scheme.

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