Anambra collaborates with EU/WHO, organises One Day technical working group meeting


Anambra State Government in partnership with European Union and World Health Organisation (EU/WHO) held a One-Day state healthcare financing technical working group (TWG) meeting.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala said the continued partnership with the EU/WHO had improved the healthcare sector of the state through a health system strengthening support.

Dr Okpala said this while declaring open the One Day technical work group meeting in Awka.

Participants were drawn from different Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Academia and the House Committee on Health.

The commissioner emphasised the importance of finance in the health sector and its relevance in achieving goals and objectives, while urging participants to bring in good ideas and suggestions that would help the sector.

He commended the EU/WHO support in strengthening the health system and creating objectives of achieving universal health coverage in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr Simeon Onyemaechi in his presentation rolled out Anambra State Mobile Health Insurance System.

He noted that the state’s mobile health insurance system was a child born out of necessity — indeed out of the need to be innovative.

“Having pioneered the adoption model for Health Insurance in informal sector Nigeria, it is only good that right now other states are beginning to borrow the adoption model.

“It has entered the national document as a strategy for getting the informal sector people to be enrolled into health insurance schemes.

“We will not rest on our efforts in saying that now we have brought a solution to the informal sector; we need to find a way to sustain it and to even expand access to insurance, using the adoption model.

“So, thinking about that and knowing that there are people in-hard-to-reach areas that may not be able to come out to enroll.

“Almost in every household, there is one person or another that will have a mobile phone. So, we said, let us do what the Banks, big corporations are doing which is to get USSD code.

“From your mobile phone that doesn’t have internet service; you just dial a particular code through the banks and pay for a health insurance scheme.

“If you want to contribute in bits you can as well dial the same code and indicate that you want to be contributing ?100 until you are able to gather the ?12,000 premium.

“The State Health Insurance Agency went to the EU/WHO and after seeing evidence that we generated; that this is going to be a game changer for us, they are committed to financing the project.

“Once we launch this over the next couple of weeks, anybody can enroll for health insurance from any part of the world.’’

He said that people could be adopted in any part of the world into the scheme, using any currency and would receive a code on the platform for the enrollment.