Nasarawa govt. establishes health insurance agency

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Nasarawa State Government has established the Social Health Insurance Agency (SHIA) aimed at providing quality and affordable health services to the people.

Dr Roseline Kela, the state’s Commissioner for Health disclosed this on Monday in Lafia, while addressing newsmen in commemoration of the 2019 World Health Day.

Kela said the agency was established to key into the National Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

She also disclosed that the state government had appointed Dr Gaza Gomna, as the Executive Secretary of the agency to fast track its operation.

“The Executive Secretary has been given a matching order to enlist every resident of the state to enjoy health care services.

“This is one of the ways to ensure that everyone resident in Nasarawa State gets quality and affordable health services they have always desired,’’ she added.

According to the commissioner, the agency is taking off with the objective of ensuring all round health care in line with the theme of the 2019 World Health Day “Universal Health Coverage: Everyone, Everywhere.’’

She said that apart from the health insurance scheme, the state government had also taken several measures to ensure that citizens, especially at the rural communities, accessed affordable quality health care services.

“For instance, Nasarawa State pioneered the full transfer of Primary Healthcare (PHC) facilities under one roof, to strengthen coordination of facilities located deep within the communities.

“This was deliberately intended to improve the lives of the citizenry and reduce the suffering of those in the rural areas,” Kela said.

The commissioner also said that the state government piloted the Community Health Influencers, Promoters and Services (CHIPS) agent project, to facilitate engagement of the communities’ health services providers.

She explained that under the programme, 580 CHIPS agents and 116 community mobilisers had been trained and engaged to provide basic health care services to women and children at the various communities; and to promptly refer others needing serious attention to the nearest health centre.

Kela maintained that the implementation of the programme was being monitored as the state government planned to engage about 2,000 more CHIPS agents soon.

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