The Governer of Kwara State speaks highly of the Shonga health scheme
The Emir together with representatives of the government, PharmAccess and Hygeia
The celebrations of the second anniversary of the Shonga Community Health Service made clear that the scheme is becoming a community-owned program. On the 30th of January around 400 excited community members came to celebrate the scheme’s anniversary. The atmosphere was one with lots of laughs, games and interesting speeches by the Commissioner of Health and one written by the Governor of Kwara State and delivered by one of his aides.
The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Asiat A. Saka reflected on how the quality of health care has greatly improved in the last two years, summing up the results. The speech of the Governor of Kwara State, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki focused on the steps that have been taken to make the scheme a success and how the next step will be to replicate it.
Governor of Kwara State
The Governor's speech explained how at the start of the Governor's administration the health service system was ‘devoid of quality by all standards.’ A lack of manpower, of medicine and a poor infrastructure were the main problems.
Progress has however been made in improving the standards of health care and the access to it by introducing health insurance. The Shonga scheme has according to the Governor greatly contributed to this and ‘the successful scheme is to be replicated.’ This Shonga scheme of the Health Insurance Fund has demonstrated how access to quality health care for low-income people can be achieved.
He further stated that others shared his enthusiasm for the scheme: ‘The success is attested to by the many visitors that have seen it.’ Amongst them the President of the World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan, who emphatically proclaimed that it is the most successful community health insurance scheme in the world.
And last, and in his eyes the most interesting development of the scheme is that the Federal Government has expressed the intention to replicate it to all the States of the federation.
Commissioner of Health
The honourable Commissioner of Health Dr. Asiat A. Saka praised its results. ‘The scheme is an extension of democratic dividends to the rural population who otherwise are deprived of quality healthcare service.’ Dr. Saka recognizes that in the last two years the population of Shonga now has access to well developed facilities with competent staff and state-of-art equipment. These standards account for all primary health centres; a great accomplishment especially in such a rural area.
For more on the second anniversary click here.