Wike provides insurance for vulnerable pregnant women in Abuja

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The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike has commenced the enrollment of all vulnerable pregnant women in the Federal capital into the Federal Capital Territory Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS).

The Mandate Secretary of Health Services and Environment of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Dolapo Fasawe, revealed this on Thursday, February 29, in Abuja during the flag-off ceremony of the enrollment, where she disclosed that all pregnant enrollees would receive a free safe delivery kit at no cost.

While flagging off the FHIS enrollment for pregnant women and safe delivery kit exercise, the minister of State for FCT, Mariya Mahmoud expressed happiness that the government has been able to make the instance scheme under the FCT Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) a reality.

“What this means is that funds are now available that will enable everyone on the scheme to have access to quality healthcare services without any financial shock”, she said.

Mahmoud, who was represented by her Chief of Staff, Abdulahi Kauranmata, while assuring that funding of the targeted free enrollees (the vulnerable) would not pose a challenge, also warned that FCT will not tolerate delay in the release of funds by Health Management Organizations (HMOs) and for other services to the hospitals capable of impacting the insurance scheme.

In her remarks, Fasawe, the Secretary for Health Services and Environment, emphasized the importance of registering for the FHIS, noting that health insurance is a key focus of the Nyesom Wike administration, which is why it has been prioritized

According to her, the dedication to the health insurance scheme by the Minister aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda which emphasizes the administration’s commitment to ensuring that no pregnant woman dies due to childbirth complications.

She said: “Health insured is health assured. It is an abomination for any pregnant woman to die due to childbirth complications.

“It is not only during delivery that women have complications, at times it occurs after delivery. It has been documented that there are post-natal infections that these pregnant women have that they don’t treat or come back toward the point of death and it leads to death.

“Now the insurance scheme covers antenatal care of the pregnant woman and it covers them during delivery.

“During delivery, we have added innovation, the safe delivery kit having realized that there are many women who go to traditional birth attendants for example, they go to primary healthcare centres for delivery and these people use instruments that are not sterile but these packs here are absolutely sterile and the things inside protect the mother, the child and the caregiver

“The essence of this is to encourage pregnant women to register for health insurance, this pack ordinarily would cost about N50,000 and the normal practice before now is when you come for delivery they would list everything in here and ask you to go and buy but now we are giving it out for free once you are registered on our health insurance scheme.”

Fasawe also clarified the categories of pregnant women that would be eligible for free registration, saying, “Right now every pregnant woman in FCT who cannot afford to pay for health insurance is going to be registered under the vulnerable group and it’s us free of charge.

“Already in Abuja, antenatal care is free of charge, delivery is not free but the essence of today is even if you cannot afford to pay for health insurance, there are indices to identify and verify the poor, that includes the community, the community leaders, the health facilities, among others and would be taken care of, even the baby being given birth would be taken care of for a year under the health insurance scheme.”

While commending the Renewed Hope Agenda initiative and the development partners who ensured that the initiative becomes a priority, Fasawe noted: “The government cannot do it all alone, several sectors are contending for the resources available to it and that is why our development partners like the USAID IHP and the others must be commended for partnering with us to make a success of initiatives such as this.

Frances Adewumi, the USAID IHP FCT State Director, acknowledged the long-awaited realization of the sensitization campaign on health insurance, emphasizing the project’s support for the Health Services and Environment Secretariat for over four years.

Highlighting the project’s goal of reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality in the FCT, Frances mentioned USAID IHP’s contributions to the FCT through capacity building of health care workers, supply of state-of-the-art medical equipment and several health systems strengthening efforts to improve access to care and increase the quality of care provided in FCT health care centres.

She encouraged FCT residents to embrace the FHIS and spread the word that with a premium payment of N13,500 every year, every woman, child and man can have access to good quality services.

The high point of the event was the distribution of 500 safe delivery kits to pregnant women who were already enrolled and the registration of over 1500 pregnant women.

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