The Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), in its intensified effort to ensure that Lagos residents are abreast of adequate information on the Social Health Insurance Scheme of the State Government, has inaugurated the ILERA EKO Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee as well as the Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LASCOP) Collaboration Group.
The Permanent Secretary of LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, speaking during the inauguration held at Alausa, Ikeja, said that the Agency inaugurated the Committee and LASCOP Collaboration Group because of the importance that Civil Society Organisations play in Society.
She said that information dissemination is vital to the spread of the good news of ILERA EKO, especially as some of the residents in the State still pay their medical bills out-of-pocket.
Dr. Zamba said, “If all the residents in the State are aware of the importance of Health Insurance and the benefits to be enjoyed on ILERA EKO, there will be a significant increase in the number of Enrollees on the Scheme”.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that she does not doubt that the Committee and the Collaboration Group will do their best to support the Agency in achieving its mandate of leaving no one behind in the State, adding that those who support the State Government in this journey of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will have their names written in gold.
She commended the Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LASCOP), for deeming it fit to collaborate with the Agency to ensure that residents have access to affordable and quality healthcare.
The Permanent Secretary called on other individuals, organisations, groups, associations, philanthropists, and donors. home and abroad, to support the Agency to ensure that everyone in the State is covered under the Social Health Insurance Scheme of the Lagos State Government, especially now that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act of 2022, has made Health Insurance compulsory for Nigerians.
Responding on behalf of the Committee and Collaboration Group, the Health Specialist, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Femi Adeyemi, appreciated the kind gesture of the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba and LASHMA Staff for working hand in hand with the Civil Society Organizations.
While noting that Advocacy is a core tool in reaching out to the people, Dr. Adeyemi pledged that both the Committee and the Collation Group will ensure that Lagos State attains its UHC status.
The 12 Members of the ILERA EKO Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee include the Permanent Secretary of LASHMA, Dr. Emmanuella Zamba (Chairperson); Coordinator, Joint Learning Agenda (JLA), Mrs. Olayide Akanni (Vice Chairman) and Vice Chairman, Interfaith Public Health Advocacy, Lagos, Mr. Adekoya Abraham (Member).
Others are the Lagos State Consultant, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Olukunle Daramola; Senior HIV Advisor, Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) Project, Dr. Chidumga Ohazurike; representative of the Public Health Advocacy Initiative (PHSAI), Mr. Abiodun Ajayi and Head of Programme, Development Communications Network (DEVCOMS), Mr. Akinlolu Akinpelumi.
Members of the LACSOP Collaboration Group included the State Coordinator, Network of People Living With HIV and AIDs in Nigeria (NEPWHAN), Vice Chairman and LASCOP representatives in the IBILE Divisions of the State – Lead Programme Implementation Committee, Mrs. Omolara Olusaiye (Ikeja Division), Dr. (Mrs.) Ashiru Ajoke (Badagry Division), Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator, (Ikorodu Division), Mr. Abdulwahab Matepo (Lagos Division), and Hon. Abiodun Ajiborisha (Epe Division).