Kebbi targets 4m for contributory healthcare scheme
By Muhammad Auwal
The Kebbi State Government says it will enrol over four million poor and vulnerable indigenes into the contributory healthcare scheme.
The Executive Secretary of the Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (KECHEMA), Dr Muhammad Jafar, disclosed this during a visit to the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir, in Birnin Kebbi.
Jafar assured that the target would be made as soon as the board of the agency was established.
He said the agency begun operation in May, for citizens to have access to quality healthcare service delivery in the state.
“As a strategy to defray out of pocket healthcare payment and ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Kebbi State Government introduced the scheme in 2018, but began operation in 2019 in the state.
“It is expected that over four million residents will heave a sigh of relief as access to quality healthcare service will become better through the planned scheme.
“The vulnerable groups will also be cared for from the pool of funds generated from others. Without doubt, this will improve on our health indices and outcome.
“It will also ensure that every resident of the state, irrespective of tribal or social affiliation, enjoys unfettered access to qualitative healthcare,” he said.
Jafar also recalled that the Bill establishing the scheme was passed into law by the state House of Assembly in February 2018 and assented to by Gov. Atiku Bagudu in order to give it teeth.
“The Kebbi state Contributory Healthcare Management Scheme bill was passed into law by the Kebbi State House of Assembly in February 2018 to ensure Universal Health Coverage which guarantees availability, accessibility and affordability of healthcare services to all residents of the state.
“We have become among the states with Health Financial system that is based on Islamic “Takaful” (Providing guarantee in an Islamic way) insurance principles.
“Indeed the passage of KECHEMA into law has opened a new chapter with redefined Health Care Services in all the 21 local governments of Kebbi state,” Jafar explained.
The scribe called on stakeholders in the healthcare sector and traditional rulers to assist in facilitating the establishment of the board of the agency.
“We want to start collaborating with individuals, companies and organisations but we can’t do so when we have no board of the agency.
“As soon as the board is set up, we will begin full operation and enrolment of the poor and vulnerable in 2020,” he said.
Responding, Bashir commended the efforts of the secretary and assured him that the emirate would do the needful in order to facilitate the establishment of the board of the agency.
“We cherish every contributory healthcare system that devoid of usury and interest which goes contrary to our religious belief and system.
“We will participate fully in the scheme as we wish it to be a successful scheme for our people to have an easy and affordable healthcare service,” the first class traditional ruler said.