By G9ija

Residents in urban, suburbs and rural communities in Edo State are increasingly signing up to the state’s health insurance scheme, pioneered by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to guarantee access to affordable and quality healthcare services across the state.

The Edo State Health Insurance Scheme and the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund are the backbone of the state’s health insurance scheme targeted at attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under the Edo Healthcare Improvement Programme (Edo-HIP), a holistic framework to overhaul and improve healthcare services in public health institutions in the state.

During a sensitisation outreach programme to enlighten residents in rural areas on the benefits of the health insurance scheme, residents of Ugboko ward in Ibieguae community, Orhionmwon Local Government Area, took the opportunity to sign up for the programme.

A partner on the Edo-HIP, Mr Dare Egbola said the programme was designed to make healthcare affordable for residents in the state, noting, “This is to make healthcare available and accessible for people who live within these catchment areas.”

He added, “Edo State is executing the health insurance scheme to provide affordable and accessible healthcare services to the poorest of the poor, children under five years of age and pregnant women. There will be free medical test including free test for prostate cancer for men, breast cancer test for women, Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) tests, among other. It also includes the distribution of malaria nets for the prevention of malaria.”

He explained that the programme was designed for the benefit of all residents in the state, adding that the programme has provisions for civil servants and operators of private businesses in the state, such as traders, artisans, among others.

Noting that the Social Health Insurance Scheme/Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) would benefit the poorest in the society, he said, “Those who cannot afford even paracetamol are being catered for. 110 men and women have been captured during this exercise in this community. There are more people turning out for registration.”

One of the residents registered for the scheme, Mrs. Mercy Onwumene, expressed appreciation to the state government for the initiative, noting, “I got a free mosquito net after registration. If I am to buy it in the market, it will cost me a lot of money. Men are being tested freely for prostate cancer while, females got free test for breast cancer.”