Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said that the bill for the establishment of the State Health Insurance Scheme passed earlier in the week by the State House of Assembly will soon become law.
The governor disclosed this at a ceremony to kick start the distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets across the state at the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan, on Thursday.
He said that the bill would serve as a veritable tool for universal health coverage for residents of the state, especially to cater for the rural populace.
Ajimobi said, “The government has conducted the realignment of the health care service delivery in the state. Earlier this week, the State House of Assembly passed the bill for the establishment of the State Health Insurance Scheme.
“This is a tool the government will utilize to ensure universal health coverage for residents of the Oyo State. Equally, the State Primary Health Care Law will soon be promulgated for further coverage of the grassroots in healthcare delivery.”
The governor commended the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Federal Ministry of Health and other partners for their intervention and supportive roles, which, he said, had enhanced the wellness of the people of the state.
He said that their noteworthy support over the years had assisted in minimizing the scourge of malaria, as underscored by the reduction in the incidence of malaria by 45 per cent when compared with the 2012 figures.
While lamenting the global menace of malaria, he said that the state had not relented in taking steps to mitigate the scourge, including regular mass distribution of insecticidal nets.
Ajimobi said, “I believe that we are winning the battle as the incidence of malaria has now reduced by 45 per cent when compared with the incidence of year 2012. The credit for this laudable achievement is jointly shared by the state and our partners.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank them for their invaluable support over the years. As a government we will intensify our multi-prong approach aimed at curbing the malaria scourge in our state.
At the event, the representative of USAID, Dr. Bolatito Aiyenigba, said that 8,500 health workers had been trained on malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment, adding that mosquito nets, diagnostic tests and antimalarial drugs had been supplied to various centers in the state.
Aiyenigba said that no effort should be spared in the fight against malaria in Africa, stressing that the continent alone bears 80 per cent of the global burden of the disease.
Of this percentage, she said it was regrettable that Nigeria alone accounts for one-third of the burden.
The USAID representative commended the state government for spearheading the fight against malaria in all part of the state through many safety nets.
She said, “Malaria is responsible for one in every ten deaths of mothers due to complications in pregnancy. Therefore, no effort should be spared to tackle the scourge at the local, state, national and global levels.
“Your Excellency, there is indeed great evidence that shows your commitment and good work to ensure that your people live in good health and in a sound environment. Please continue to give the health sector the required priority in your government.”