Ebonyi Healthcare Takes Center Stage: Over 136,000 Residents Insured in One Year

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By Brenda Chidinma Imo-Eze

Ebonyi State is experiencing a healthcare revolution under the leadership of Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru.

The Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA), once dormant, has been revitalized, enrolling a staggering 136,831 residents within just a year.

This remarkable achievement signifies a significant shift towards a future where healthcare is accessible and affordable for all Ebonyi residents.

A Surge in Enrollment and Focus on Vulnerable Groups

Addressing Journalists the Executive Secretary of Ebonyi Health Insurance Agency, Dr. Divine Igwe, stressed on the agency’s commitment to inclusivity.

Adding “in all, 136,831 enrollees have benefitted from health insurance within one year of Governor Francis Ogbonna Nwifuru being in office”.

“Out of this number, pregnant women in the current enrolment is 9,000. Children under 5 years is 15,000. Others include People with Disabilities and the Indigents.”

The Voice Newspaper scooped that the focus on vulnerable groups  such as pregnant women, children among others ensures a safety net for those who may struggle to afford healthcare on their own.

Pregnantwomen and young children can now access vital medical care without financial burden, while people with disabilities and the indigent receive much-needed support.

Beyond Enrollment: Delivering Free Healthcare Services

With Governor Nwifuru’s strong backing, the agency has gone beyond simply enrolling residents.

The agency has delivered a wide range of free healthcare services across all 171 political wards in the state. These include essential immunizations, deliveries, and treatment for common illnesses like malaria.

Some of the beneficiaries of the Scrotal Hernia free surgery appreciating the Agency for their good works
Some of the beneficiaries of the free Scrotal Hernia  surgery appreciating the Agency for their good works

“EBSHIA, through the support of the state government has offered so many free health services to beneficiaries across the 171 political wards of the state,” Dr. Igwe explained.

“The services included 4,608 free reserved immunization, 3,056 free normal deliveries, and 20,228 free malaria treatments.”

Additionally, the program offers crucial management programs for chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, helping residents maintain their health and well-being.

A Holistic Approach to Healthcare Improvement

Governor Nwifuru’s commitment to healthcare extends far beyond enrollment and free services.

He has championed the digitization of EBSHIA’s operations, ensuring transparency and efficiency. Residents can enroll in the programme online at www.ebshia.eb.gov.ng and select any of their preferred packages.

Staff training programs have been revitalized through partnerships with international organizations, further strengthening the healthcare workforce.

The state is also fulfilling its financial obligations through the payment of counterpart funding for the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, showcasing a comprehensive approach to healthcare improvement.

The Governor’s commitment even extends to improving rural roads, facilitating easier access to healthcare facilities for residents in remote areas and investments in infrastructure include the revitalization of general hospitals, the employment of more health workers, and incentives for doctors.

Partnerships and Support: Building a Brighter Future
The Ebonyi State Health Insurance Agency (EBSHIA) through healthy partnership with the State government has facilitated the accreditation of 26 private healthcare facilities, with the National Obstetrics Fistula Centre, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching hospital, Abakaliki and the David Umahi Federal University Teaching Hospital, Uburu as supportive facilities.

“He also purchased ambulances for the general hospitals, and approved N11.5 billion for equipments and consumables in the general hospitals.

“He also approved N200 million for vulnerable groups’ health insurance insurance premium and released full monthly premium for State Civil Servants’ health Insurance to the tune of N37 million.

“He did not stop there, he started working on the rural roads to ensure quick access to facilities”, Igwe added.

The story doesn’t end there, as the wife of the State Governor,  Mrs. Uzoamaka Mary-Maudline Nwifuru through her pet project Better Health for Rural Women, Children and Internally Displaced Persons (BERWO) has also made a significant contribution through her foundation.

Over 4,000 pregnant women have received free enrollment and medical treatment, including major surgeries and cesarean sections, thanks to the foundation’s efforts.

“In EBSHIA’s partnership with the office of the wife of the Governor, out of the 4,076 pregnant women enrolled, 341 have delivered.

“Through the same office, EBSHIA harvested and performed free surgeries for 100 elderly males living with scrotal hernia across the 171 wards of the state” he enumerated.

The success of the Ebonyi State Health Insurance Scheme is a testament to Governor Nwifuru’s unwavering dedication to improving the health and well-being of all residents. By prioritizing healthcare access and affordability, Ebonyi State is paving the way for a more prosperous and healthy future for its citizens.

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