By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Nelson Alu
Lagos State Health Management Agency, LASHMA, has disclosed plans to capture 3 million residents into the state health insurance scheme in the next one year, saying the government has 222 health facilities for the purpose in the state.
General Manager, LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuala Zamba, stated this yesterday, at a briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, to announce Ilera Eko grassroots sensitisation and enrollment drive across the 20 Local Government Areas in the state.
Zamba stated that the sensitisation and enrollment drive became important because the state government understands that health is wealth.
She added that so far 527,000 residents had been registered under the insurance scheme and hopes to enroll more residents with its Ilera Eko pay small, small policy which allows for monthly payment.
According to her, 222 health facilities had been enlisted to attend to enrollees.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Civic Engagement, Mr. Kayode Ogunnubi, said all around the globe, health remains on the priority list of every government at all levels, and Lagos cannot afford to be an exception.
According to Adebowale; “This is the reason the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is focused on ensuring that all the residents of Lagos State, have access to quality, equitable and affordable healthcare regardless of their socio-cultural and economic status, towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in our state.
“This has necessitated the government to embark on the building and renewal of health facilities all round the State and the continuous initiation and promotion of various intervention programmes that include the Lagos State Health Insurance Schemes also known as ‘ILERA EKO.”
Also, as part of effort to ensure that the Africa continent improves on its preparedness and brace up to the challenges posed by emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity threats, Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Health in partnership with a non-governmental organization, Global Emerging Pathogens Treatment Consortium (GET), is set to hold the seventh Annual African Conference on One Health and Biosecurity.
The conference themed: “Universal Approach to Addressing Biosecurity Threats – Genomic Intelligence and Vaccines” is scheduled to hold at the Civic Centre, Lagos between Wednesday 27 and Friday 29, October, 2021.
Giving details about the conference at a news briefing, State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the conference is the seventh in series of conferences organized by GET in partnership with government around West Africa and the African continent to help develop biosecurity road map and to increase resilience towards building the capacity to deal with pathogens of high consequence.
He said: “This is the seventh time we’ve had this conference in West Africa, the first one was in Daker, Senegal in 2015 during the Ebola outbreak, subsequently we had the next meeting in 2016 in Lagos which was an opportunity for international development partners to help Lagos develop a biosecurity road map, recognizing the significant vulnerability of mega cities in Africa and in an attempt to increase their resilience towards building the capacity to deal with pathogens of high consequence just like Ebola, Lassa fever, Marbog pandemic flu and the current pandemic – COVID-19.
The commissioner, explained that the need to continually emphasize the key importance of the African response in combating Emerging Infectious Diseases, advocating various treatment strategies and preparedness against future biosecurity threats informed the need for the conference.
“In the light of the recognition that a mega city like Lagos is very vulnerable to contagious diseases, GET has been collaborating with government agencies and hosting the Biosecurity conferences,” Abayomi stated.