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Community healthcare cooperative scheme, solution to health challenges —Expert

…advocates universal access to quality health care services

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nisa Group, Dr. Ibrahim Wada, yesterday, advocated for Community Health Care Cooperative Scheme, CHCCS, as the solution to myriads of health problems facing Nigerians, especially, the indigent.

Community health care cooperative scheme, solution to health challenges —Dr Wada

Wada made the assertion in a chat with Vanguard while expressing concern over the declining health and helpless situation of most Nigerians who beg the public for financial assistance on national television and radio stations including newspapers and social media, even on the streets and worship places, especially to go abroad for treatment.

According to the renowned gynecologist and obstetrician, Nigerians have always been their ‘brother’s-keepers’ and have rallied around those who have had health problems collectively with love by proffering local solutions to improve their health conditions, and expressed hope that if communities can go back to those values for human life most people would be alive and healthy.

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According to the renowned medical expert, the solution to most health problems in the country is for communities to organise themselves into Community Health Care Cooperatives Scheme, CHCCS, where members would contribute monthly a token into the scheme would absolutely take off financial bill and burden from the shoulders of contributors.

He said: “The problem of indigence is access to health care through an instrument because we have always been our brother’s keeper. We have never been a beggar, people. Nigerians are industrious.

“Some of us stayed in the village those days and if somebody has a problem, his families and others would come and help. So, that culture has always been with us. What is needed is access.

“That is why I always say Universal Healthcare, National Health insurance, you can access health care. How do you access it? Each of us who is chipping in every month, little, little into a purse and when you fall into trouble, that money follows you there.

“I am contributing say for example ‘Jabi Resident Health Care Programme or Scheme’. Every household here has to pay N2, 000 every month into the same purse. We are not going to be sick every month; we keep keeping that money until one day somebody falls sick, he should not be worried about carrying money from his pocket to treat himself.

“He should be able to say that he is a member of a health cooperative and we have been depositing which would help. There is no law that says you can’t do cooperatives, and if you can do it for markets, for building houses which we have been doing for thousands of years we can have the cooperative healthcare scheme also.

“So, I am an advocate of universal access to health, good quality health through health insurance. Good healthcare is your right through contribution unless we would keep begging for international help. It belittles you as black skin not to help ourselves. I know we are our brother’s keeper.”

He also maintained that Nigerians need access to healthcare through contributory insurance, social schemes using the pocket by a pocket solution.

“We had health care before the Europeans came. People fell sick before now and how did we do it? It was through community”, he added.

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