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Sanwo-Olu’s wife urges residents to sign up for health scheme

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The Wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday urged residents to sign up for the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS).

Mrs Sanwo-Olu gave the advice during the launch of Ilera Eko Day, a symbolic social campaign designed to integrate Lagos residents to the health insurance policy of the state government.

She said that it was in the collective interest of the state and well-being of the people for all to join the train.

The governor’s wife said that the scheme signified the commitment of the present administration toward promoting human right to health and resilient healthcare network.

“Essentially, the scheme, which is administered by the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), is aimed at ensuring Lagosians have access to the needed healthcare without suffering financial hardship.

“It closes the gap between the demand for health spending and available public resources as well as reduces the prolonged reliance on out-of-pocket spending by families across the state.

“The evolution of this scheme identifies with the global clarion call for inclusive health make-up, which is termed Universal Health Coverage.

“This was conceptualised to close glaring coverage gaps and meet the health targets agreed under the Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

Mrs Sanwo-Olu described health as a foundational investment in human capital and economic growth, as it allowed countries to make the most of their strongest asset-human capital.

According to her, with good health structure, children are able to go to school and adults are able to go to work.

She said Ilera Eko would be playing a key role in pursuing the health policy objectives of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda by expanding the coverage of the Family Health Strategy.

The governor’s wife said that Ilera Eko would scale up the quality of health services, thereby attracting and retaining qualified health professionals.

She said the harsh lessons of COVID-19 had sparked new urgency around health systems and universal health coverage.

She noted that focus was now shifting toward preventive healthcare as against curative health.

“As we embark on this path to Universal Health Coverage, Ilera Eko is passionately calling us to take responsibility for our health. We are determined to leave no one behind.

“All residents, regardless of socio-economic and ethno-religious identity, including the vulnerable are encouraged to make the right choices by signing up for this scheme because our lives, livelihoods and future depend on it,” Mrs Sanwo-Olu said.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the launch of Ilera Eko marked a distinct milestone in the state government’s efforts to ensure sustained access to quality and affordable healthcare for the teeming population.

Abayomi said that in recognition of the economic status of many residents, especially the less privileged, the state government was currently providing free health insurance to 40,000 residents.

He said that the state government had also launched a crowd funding programme and instalment payment plan, all geared toward providing access for residents and ramping up facilities in the state for effective and efficient healthcare.

On his part, the Chairman of LASHMA Board, Dr Adetokunbo Alakija, said that Ilera Eko would be celebrated annually to mark the state’s journey to 100 per cent coverage of informal sector into the state health scheme.

Under the LSHS, premium for a family of six is N40,000 per annum, while N8,500 is for individual within the same period.

The healthcare services covered under the scheme include outpatient care for common ailments and conditions; maternal, newborn and child care including cesarean section where necessary; access to family planning counseling and services.

It also covers management of uncomplicated chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma, amongst others; access to HIV and TB testing services; minor surgeries such as incision drainage, herniorrhaphy, appendectomy; and health promotion and diseases prevention.

Florence Onuegbu

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