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 be passed into law.
The Governor disclosed this while kick-starting the distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets across the state at the Government House arcade, Agodi, Ibadan.
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.
“The government has conducted the re-alignment 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 according to him 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 the menace by 45% when compared with the 2012 figures.
Governor Ajimobi believes that the state is winning the battle as the incidence of malaria has now reduced by 45% when compared with the incidence of year 2012.
According to him, the regular mass distribution of insecticidal nets, which is currently ongoing in all 33 local government areas of Oyo state, has aided in the fight.
Ajimobi further assured all developing partners that the government would intensify its multi-prong approach aimed at curbing the malaria scourge in the 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% 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, however, commended the state government for spearheading the fight against malaria in all parts of the state through many safety nets.
Highlighting other key disadvantages, 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,” she urged.