TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE IN KWARA
By Dr. Oluwatoyin Nassamu Yakub
Your Excellency, elections has come and gone, but the challenges and expectations of every Kwaran remains. It’s quite unfortunate you inherited a near collapsed state, at a period of dwindling revenue from the central government.
The critical situation of our health, education and infrastructure is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf. There is indeed a wide disparity between what’s available on the papers drafted and presented by the Men before you and what’s obtainable and accessible on ground in our state. Such is the irony of a 51 years old system called Kwara.
Sir, health they say is wealth. Healthy citizens make a wealthy state. Please make universal health coverage as one of the key pillars of your administration. Declare health as a fundamental human right of all Kwarans, ensure Universal Health Coverage through a collaborative effort of a sincere and mandatory Kwara Health Insurance Scheme (KHIS). Walahi! History will forever remember you for good even when you are long gone.
By universal health coverage I envision a state where all Kwarans and communities irrespective of their situation, orientation or location can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship as the case of the current situation in our dear state.
Your Excellency, let me restate that, Universal Health Coverage embodies three related objectives:
1. EQUITY in access to health services – Every Kwaran irrespective of location, whether in Okuta, Oke-Ode, Okelele or Oguntoyibo who needs services should get them, not only those who can pay for them;
2. The QUALITY of health services in our various hospitals should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services; and
3. Every kwarans should be protected against financial-risk ie “AFFORDABLE ”, ensuring that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm as currently being experienced in our state.
In summary, the health delivery system in Kwara is in a florid state of coma; only an effective mandatory Kwara Health Insurance Scheme (KHIS) for all classes will go a long way to protect Kwarans from the neck breaking medical bills.
It also ensures
Universal Health Coverage that cuts across all of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and brings hope of better health; eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and will protect even the poorest of all Kwarans.
Kwara Of Our Dreams Is Possible.
Dr Nassamu Oluwatoyin Yakub
Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Medical Association, FCT, Abuja.