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A new dawn emerged on the horizon of Adamawa State as it made a move to follow its predecessors and take a plunge to launch its health insurance scheme. This landmark event in the history of the state occurred on Tuesday, May 13, 2019. The event held in the Government House premises in Yola, was attended by government officials, traditional rulers, development partners, media and other stakeholders in the health sector.
The journey began over a year ago with the signing of a contract between the state government and PharmAccess organisation in January 2018.
PharmAccess was contracted to lead the technical development process for the state’s health insurance scheme based on their expertise and experience in supporting other states and governments to establish the scheme.
The state had also gone further to request for the commissioning of a State Poverty Identification exercise to adequately determine household eligibility for state-sponsored subsidies, which was also provided by the PharmAccess Foundation.
Iyobosa Igbinovia, the Adamawa State WHO Coordinator and Pharmacist in his goodwill message conveyed his joy that this was happening during the present administration; promising that the organisation will continue to support the state to achieve all it has set out to achieve in the health sector.
Njide Ndili, the Country director, in her goodwill message on behalf of the PharmAccess Foundation, stated how delighted she was at the launch of the Health Insurance Scheme as this was one of the surest ways of achieving UHC and reaching the poorest of the poor of the society as studies have shown.
She further expressed her appreciation for the support and cooperation that PharmAccess has enjoyed in the State while providing the technical assistance for the establishment of the scheme.
She solicited for more support, stating that “the journey has begun with great strides and there is still some distance to cover to get to the final destination of providing quality and affordable healthcare for all residents of the State.”
Also speaking at the event, Olamide Okulaja, the Director of Advocacy and Communications of PharmAccess expressed his optimism that the implementation of the health insurance scheme will ensure that all residents of the State irrespective of status receive quality and affordable healthcare when they need it.
Fatima Atiku Abubakar, former commissioner of Health, in her remarks noted that, though a Health Insurance Scheme was established in 2011, it went into limbo and had to be revived in line with the administration’s quest to provide quality health services for all citizens in the State.
Muhammadu Jibrilla Umaru Bindow, the immediate past governor, while delivering his keynote speech, stated that the scheme was the first of its kind in the State and was designed to take healthcare system in the State to the next level. He recognised and acknowledged the tremendous effort of the Commissioner of Health whom he described as “indefatigable and dogged”.
Bala Sanda, chairman of the Board of the Health Insurance Scheme, the immediate past attorney-general of the state, made his inaugural speech, committing to outdo most of their counterparts that had started before them within 6 months as it concerns enrolments.