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Kwara health insurance agency, PharmAccess launch IsDB ‘transform and innovation’ project

The Kwara State Health Insurance Agency and PharmAccess Foundation have commenced the implementation of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) “Transform and Innovation Grant”.

Tagged “Sustainable Business Case for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria”, the innovative project is meant to facilitate and complement the efforts of the state government to scale up access to affordable and quality basic healthcare services for all residents of the state, across the 16 Local Government Areas.

The IsDB-funded project would enhance the strategic implementation of the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme and would be utilized for the financing of about 4,000 low-income population, mobilizing the informal sector population and strengthening the capacity of healthcare providers participating in the scheme.

The Bank’s grant is aimed at the demand-and-supply-side challenges of the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme and also to complement the efforts of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund towards improving healthcare coverage for low-income households.

At the launching event in Kwara State, the executive secretary, Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, accentuated the significance of the IsDB Grant to the agency’s goal.

Read also: Osinbajo calls for private investment in healthcare, launches Modular Healthcare Facility

She said the funding support and goodwill the scheme was receiving revolves around the political will and passion of governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, who is making efforts at ensuring that the Kwara populace have unlimited access to healthcare services, through the initial investment of the state government in a sustainable social health insurance scheme.

She added that the project would offer an opportunity to incorporate more indigent beneficiaries into the scheme across the three senatorial districts of Kwara State.

On the other end of the partnership, the country director of PharmAccess Foundation, Njide Ndili said the initiative proves the importance of public-private partnership in building Nigeria’s health sector, which requires resource mobilization both locally and internationally.

She urged other stakeholders and partners to collaborate to accelerate the achievement of Universal Health Coverage, especially for the poor and less privileged.

Ndili added that her organisation will continue to aggregate resources from partners to enable Kwara and other states it supports achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“We are delighted with the IsDB partnership,” she said. “We encourage other partners to join us and support State Government initiatives to fund health insurance for the poor and indigents so that we can collectively achieve UHC by 2030 as a Nation.”

In his view, Emeka Ajanwachuku, director of Health Plans and Digital Innovations, PharmAccess Foundation, said improving access to affordable quality healthcare is essential to attaining the universal health coverage agenda, and the grant provides the needed platform to accelerate the program reach in an innovative manner.

Since the relaunch of the Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme in the last quarter of 2020, over 300,000 people have been registered, out of which over 26,000 people are active with the 60 accredited and impanelled healthcare providers enlisted in the Scheme. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Grant is another critical leverage for the agency to rapidly scale and attain universal health coverage.

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