KADCHMA canvasses traditional and religious leaders’ support for Contributory Health Scheme
By: Femi Mustapha
The Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA) Director General, Mallam Abubakar Hassan, has urged traditional rulers and religious leaders in the state to live up to their responsibilities of always sensitizing their subjects in their various communities on the need to enroll in the Kaduna State Contributory Health Scheme (KSHS) to reduce out-of-pocket spending on healthcare.
The KADCHMA Director General made this known in Kaduna yesterday during an engagement meeting with the leadership of traditional and religious institutions on the Kaduna State Contributory Health Scheme (KSHS).
Mallam Hassan informed the royal fathers and religious leaders that the agency is particularly concerned that the informal sector has not embraced the scheme with all the benefits that accrue to enrollees.
According to him, at present, only about 1% of those who have enrolled in the insurance scheme are from the informal sector. It is the formal sector that has supplied the bulk of the enrollees.
He expressed dismay that this should not be the case, saying market women, plumbers, masons, mechanics, farmers, and carpenters, to mention a few informal sector business persons, can also be enrolled in the scheme.
In this regard, the position of religious and traditional leaders cannot be overstated. Equally important is the collaborative effort of relevant government agencies, healthcare providers, community leaders, civil society organizations, and, most importantly, the beneficiaries themselves.
He stressed the idea is to plan for the future as it can help them get the medical care they need for a token that would have been earlier deposited and supplemented by the government without having to worry about the high costs of healthcare services at the time of your need.
“We are, therefore, calling on religious leaders to use their sermons in mosques and churches to educate their followers on the benefits they stand to gain, as shall be further explained, by enrolling in the health insurance scheme.
“Similarly, our traditional rulers are also respected in their domains and can use their age-long channels of communication to inform their subjects of how the scheme works.
“I employ you to work together with us to make quality healthcare accessible to all in Kaduna State.”
According to Hassan, the Kaduna State government recognizes the importance of healthcare delivery in building its human capital and has taken steps to ensure that every citizen has access to affordable and high-quality healthcare services.
In her remarks, the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Kaduna state, Hajiya Umma Kaltume Ahmed, said the program is apt even as it involves key stakeholders that cut across various religious and traditional leaders who are critical in sensitizing their people at the grassroots.
The Commissioner, who was represented by the State’s Director, Admin and Finance, Ministry of Health, Dr. Zakari Mohammed, said the state government is looking forward to a situation where no resident will become poor as a result of paying for healthcare services for his family, and no human life in Kaduna state is lost because the individual cannot afford quality healthcare services at the point of care.
She said, “As you are all aware, the state government conceived the idea of establishing the authority to provide access to quality and affordable healthcare services with financial risk protection to all residents of the state.
Responding on behalf of the traditional rulers, the Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, expresses gratitude to the Authority for sensitizing them on the operative’s modus of KADCHMA.
Amb. Ahmad Nuhu Bamalli, represented by The Emir of Lere Engr. Suleiman Umar, said the benefits of enrolling with the Authority will be passed down to their subjects, and the religious leaders will also preach the same in their churches and mosques.
Similarly, Mr. Lewu Funsho Fidelis of Clinton Health Initiative said his organization is pleased to partner with Kaduna state in the Health Contributory scheme because the health of the citizens determines the wealth of the Nation.
Speaking in the same vein, the State Coordinator of National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Aminu Tainimu, assured KADCHMA of its continual support.