Anambra State Government has launched a Mobile Technology Health Insurance Platform and Data Operations Centre, an electronic wallet for the state Health Insurance Agency, ASHIA to cater for the health needs of the people.
The launch followed a two day official visit of the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon and officials of World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and European Union (EU) to the state.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Willie Obiano said ASHIA has improved the ease with which people of the state accessed medicare, describing it as an innovation and legacy project of his administration.
“What we had envisioned with the ASHIA was to address the challenge of health financing which our people face on a consistent basis due to paucity of funds. Digitizing its processes has been an ongoing process aimed at ensuring that our people access the services of the agency without stress,” he said.
UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Edward Kallon, while commissioning a Data Operations Centre located at the Ministry of Health, underscored the need to enact measures to ensure sustainability of the ASHIA initiative and to target the most vulnerable.
He praised the State Government for the reforms made by the administration in the health sector, describing the data operations center as strategic in making informed decisions and policies targeted at driving a better health care access for the people.
“ I want to encourage other states to visit Anambra and copy the reforms the state has implemented in the health sector especially the model of the Data Operations Centre. The government must make deliberate efforts to ensure this initiative is sustained beyond the present administration,” he advised.
Chief Field Officer “A” UNICEF Enugu, Mr Conteh expressed satisfaction with the level of technology being maximized by the agency to give health insurance to the people, promising to buy health premium for the aged in the state.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala thanked the Governor for supporting the initiative which he said, gave rise to the success story of the state health sector.
He said, “This visit is necessary for the United Nations Resident Cordinator in Nigeria to have a first view of the projects the Government has carried out and implemented through her ongoing partnership with the international body and her affiliates such as the World Health Organization, the UNICEF and the European Union.
“The partnership between the United Nations and the State Government has yielded so many benefits to the state, especially in ensuring quicker and easier access to quality health care to the citizens of the State. I want to thank Mr Kallon for his support and for the funding provided by the United Nations to Anambra State Government.”
Earlier, Executive Secretary of ASHIA, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi said his Agency was mandated to give quality and accessible healthcare to the citizens with equity in mind, which has culminated in establishment of topnotch models.
He pointed out that with the electronic wallet, once the enrollee pays his or her premium of N12,000 which can be done in installments, such a person can then begin to access the scheme.
“From next week, outlets where their vouchers will be sold, will begin to spring up across the state. It can also be accessed with ATM Cards,” he added
Decoration of Governor Obiano and Commissioner of Health Dr Okpala as Champions of Sustainable Development Goals by the delegation, as well as demonstration of the working of the USSD, enrolments of the aged, people living with HIV, single mothers, among others, featured during the event.