Islamic Development Bank, based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, have disclosed that it will support the enrollment of 4,500 Kwara indigents into the State Health Insurance Scheme, to enable them have access to free medical care covering many ailments and surgeries.
“We continue to advocate to donor agencies and developmental partners on behalf of the Kwara State to support the efforts of the state government to enable acceleration of scheme uptake. One of such engagements has yielded positive results,” according to a communication from PharmAccess Foundation, the technical partner to the state government on health insurance.
“We are delighted to inform you that a grant of $99,950 will be made available over an 18-month period to support the efforts of Kwara State Health Insurance Agency through a strategic partnership between PharmAccess Foundation and Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to increase access to basic healthcare services (in Kwara State). The grant from IsDB Engage and Transform Fund will be used to finance the annual premiums for 4500 indigent enrollees and support the quality improvement of 25 (Kwara) healthcare providers for a period of 18 months.”
The state government had on its own paid the premiums for 10,000 indigents to the scheme that was officially launched last September. In February 2021, the huge investments by the state attracted federal government’s support that has seen the free enrolment of additional 21,000 indigents to the scheme.
Executive Secretary of the Kwara State Health Insurance Agency Dr Olubunmi Winter said in a statement on Sunday that the impressive support and the goodwill Kwara State is receiving revolve around government’s own initial investments in the scheme, adding that 10,000 more indigents will soon be added on state sponsorship.
“(The IsDB grant) is another laudable feat since His Excellency the Governor launched the scheme in September last year. We are hoping for more of these partnerships and interventions, even as we continue with the implementation of the towards achieving universal health coverage in our state,” Winter said.
“Once again, we commend the Governor for his continued support and efforts in ensuring that the people of Kwara State have access to quality and affordable healthcare services.”
Describing the initiative as a huge success on account of the Governor’s support, Winter added that people in the formal and informal sectors have started keying into the programme, including the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Beneficiaries of the indigent component of the scheme are spread across the three senatorial districts of Kwara State, the statement added.