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Kwara opens new health insurance office in southern axis

Kwara State Health Insurance Agency (KW-HIA) on Tuesday inaugurated another regional office in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area, to improve the access of Kwara southerners…

Kwara State Health Insurance Agency (KW-HIA) on Tuesday inaugurated another regional office in Omu-Aran, Irepodun Local Government Area, to improve the access of Kwara southerners to affordable and quality healthcare services.

Located inside the General Hospital Omu-Aran, the office is 4th in the series, after siting in Offa, Edu, and Kaiama local governments of the state.

At the commissioning ceremony on Tuesday, the Kwara First Lady, Amb Mrs Olufolake AbdulRazaq, said the newly opened regional office of the agency will relieve the affected people of the pain from traveling down to Ilorin to get enrolled under the scheme.

“The opening of the Kwara South Senatorial District Hub of the Kwara Health Insurance Agency at the General Hospital, Omu-Aran will enhance the healthcare delivery system in the Senatorial District as our people will no longer have to travel a long distance to access cheap, effective and efficient healthcare services,” she said.

AbdulRazaq, who spoke through Mrs Esther Olufolake Oyinloye, wife of the TIC Chairman, Irepodun local government, enjoined the people of Omu-Aran and its environs to avail themselves the opportunity of free healthcare to enrich their health status.

She applauded the government for its pro-masses policies and programmes, including how it is taking bold steps to increase the beneficiaries of the health insurance programme.

In attendance were the Chairman, Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. Jide Ashonibare; his counterparts for Irepodun, Jide Oyinloye; for Ekiti, Kehinde Bayode; for Isin, Tunde Fadipe; and Victor Yusuf of Oke-Ero; State Commissioner for Health Dr. Amina Ahmed El-Imam represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Hajia Nike Hafsat Ibrahim; Executive Secretary of Kwara State Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter; State Coordinator for National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA), Hajia Idayat Bello; royal fathers, including the Olupo of Ajase-ipo and Chairman, Irepodun Traditional Council, Oba Ismail Yahaya Alebiosu; Olomu of Omu-Aran Oba AbdulRaheem Adeoti; and Dr. Jimoh Ajisafe, the CEO Ajisafe Hospital in Omu-Aran; among other dignitaries.

Dr El-Imam, in her goodwill message, said the event signifies another crucial moment in the journey towards ensuring accessible and quality healthcare delivery for all Kwarans.

She said the KWHIA is bridging the gap in healthcare access, improving outcomes, and ensuring financial protection for the people, praising the Agency for expanding health insurance coverage across the three senatorial districts.

Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter, for her part, described social health insurance as the only financing vehicle available to subsidize health services for all segments of the population regardless of their socio-economic status.

“Today, we are here and excited to officially open the 4th office in the state in the historic town of Omu Aran in Irepodun LGA. This office will serve residents of Irepodun, Isin, Oke Ero, and Ekiti LGAs of the state,” she said, adding that Baruten LG will also get the insurance office soon.

“These regional offices will provide the same services to the people in these catchment areas, just as we would provide from our office in Ilorin. At these regional offices, potential beneficiaries can register for health insurance, enroll, make inquiries, address complaints and concerns, and offer many more services”.

State Coordinator, National Health Insurance Authority, Hajia Idayat Bello, appreciated the Governor’s investments in the health sector and pledged continued support to the administration to ensure that no one is left behind in the drive for universal health coverage.

Oba Alebiosu, in his remarks, said the scheme showed the Governor’s passion for the welfare of rural dwellers and the less privileged, describing it as a life-saving project.

The First Class monarch commended Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the health intervention and urged beneficiaries to enroll in the programme to improve their health conditions.

“On behalf of traditional institutions in this region, I want to thank His Excellency for bringing this laudable programme down to the rural areas. This will save the lives of so many people who may have to travel to the state capital. So, it is really worthy of commendation”, he said, requesting the health insurance agency to do more on public sensitisation to achieve massive enrollment.

He also appreciated AbdulRazaq for graciously approving the construction of many road projects in the Southern and other parts of the state under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), saying that further speaks to how the government is committed to growing critical infrastructure.

Bashirat Usman, a nursing mother and existing beneficiary of the scheme at the General Hospital Omu-Aran, testified that she got proper antenatal care and is still getting free treatment, thanking the government for giving her that opportunity.

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