The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has trained the Community Mobilisation Officers (COMO) of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to enable them to drive grassroots enlightenment on the health insurance scheme in Akwa Ibom.
The Acting Director of Media of NHIA, Mr Emmanuel Ononokpono, said during the two-training workshop in Uyo on Thursday that the move is geared towards attaining Universal Health (UHC) in the country.
Ononokpono said that the effort is the resolve of the agency to enlighten Nigerians living in rural communities in the state and to ensure that they are captured in the scheme.
“Today NHIA is collaborating with the National Orientation Agency to train community Mobilisation Officers to the extent that they can bear the message and transmit same at the various local levels.
“The fundamental of the training is to ultimately see that every Nigerian, wherever they may live here about health insurance.
“We adopt this strategy to increase health awareness because Nigerians need enough information to enable them to have access to affordable and quality health care,” he said.
In his remarks, the Akwa Ibom Coordinator of NHIA, Mr Williams Ebiokobo, said that low awareness and funding have been the major challenge confronting the agency.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration with NOA will step up awareness and the new NHIA Act will also help to develop innovative ways of financing the health insurance scheme.
Ebiokobo said that health insurance was not only limited to civil servants, earning monthly salaries alone but for all Nigerians.
He added that the scheme has various programmes such as Group, Individual, and Family Social Programme (GIFSHIP) that cover both villagers, artisans, and other categories of people in the society.
In his remarks, Director, Human Resources Management at NOA, Mr Kehinde Ogunkuade, said that as an agency of government to disseminate policies and programmes, the message of national health insurance coverage would be taken to the grassroots.
Ogunkuade said that the health of all Nigerians also remains the concern of the agency, stressing that a “healthy manpower produces a healthy development”.
He said that NOA is interested in taking the programme to the grassroots so that all Nigerians could benefit from the activities of the agency.