With about 95 percent of Nigerians still not covered by the Nation’s health insurance scheme and unable to access affordable quality healthcare delivery, the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) has launched ‘Ilera Eko’ campaign to achieve universal health coverage for all Lagosians by the end of 2021.
Speaking at the media inauguration of the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), held at the state secretariat, Alausa, the Chairman Board of LASHMA, Dr. Ade Alakija, said the Lagos State Government, through the agency’s mandate seeks to ensure the provision of quality and affordable healthcare services to residents, irrespective of their socio-economic status.
Alakija said the Media Campaign for the state health scheme is a strategic step towards achieving Statewide Universal Health Coverage, adding that the increment in sensitisation and awareness is expected to meet the LSHS enrollment of one million households, which translates to approximately three million residents in the State within 18 months.
“The Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) is marketing under the umbrella brand of ‘ILERA EKO’, which signifies the wellbeing and health of all individuals in Lagos. It also speaks to the general aim of LASMHA to provide Universal healthcare and the brand promises to leave no one behind,” he said.
Alakija assured all residents, including the vulnerable and less privileged of access to quality and affordable healthcare, adding that the agency is deploying various health financing initiatives including crowd funding, donations and Lagos State Government Equity Fund for the indigent and vulnerable.
NnHe, however, encouraged all residents, media and other relevant stakeholders to support the efforts and commitment of the current administration towards achieving Universal Health Coverage by giving the Ilera Eko campaign a wider and effective dissemination.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, in his address titled: “Ilera Eko: Achieving Universal Health Coverage”, said the launching was to achieve a universal health coverage for Lagos residents as well as seek media support for the ‘Ilera Eko’ campaign to integrate all forms of communication in achieving its mandate.
He said the health scheme is aimed at assisting the government in achieving the State’s agenda of providing universal health coverage for residents, adding that it is a call to action for all residents to prioritise their health and buy into the Lagos State Health Scheme, which connotes the well being and health of all residents of Lagos State.
Abayomi said the promise to leave no one behind could only be achieved with effective communication activities via the social media, search engine optimisation, mobile billboards and all other means of communication.
While emphasising the role of effective communication in realising the objective of the programme, the Commissioner commended LASHMA for its efforts towards getting the message across the State, noting that it has helped to create awareness and sensitisation on the scheme.
Speaking further, Abayomi outlined the packages available for the scheme, noting that an individual is required to pay N8,500 per annum, while a family of six, comprising father, mother and four children of less than 18years, is to pay N40,000 per annum.
He also disclosed that N6,000 would be paid as additional amount for children below 18 years and N8,500 for additional children above 18 years.
“The fee is very affordable. It covers registration and consultation, child sickness, chronic disease, emergency care, care of women and newborn baby,” he added.
In her remarks, the General Manager, LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuel Zamba, said there is need for increased sensitisation and awareness through all available channels, stressing that the goal of the Agency is to reach all Lagosians.
She said: “We have increased access to health insurance to enrollees who are unable to afford full payment, through installment payment structure or ‘Pay-Small-Small’. We have also ensured grassroots presence for ease of registration and enrollment amongst others”.
Zamba further disclosed that for ease of registration and enrollment, the Agency has divisional offices in the five zones.