In commemoration of the maiden “ILERA-EKO” Day, the Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to achieving universal health coverage by ensuring that all residents have access to sustainable, quality and affordable healthcare services.

Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, stated this at the “ILERA-EKO” Day celebration held at De Blue Roof, Lagos Television premises, Alausa.

According to the Commissioner, “Ilera Eko connotes the well-being and health of the residents of the state, and it was designed to provide sustainable health services to all residents of the state”.

Speaking further, Abayomi disclosed that apart from the provision made by the government in enrolling its workforce into the scheme via the payment of 75 percent of the cost of their premium, tremendous efforts have also been made to enable operatives of the informal sector enjoy the services.

The Commissioner also explained that the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) has put in place an installment payment structure, “Pay-Small-Small”, for members of cluster groups of the informal sector for ease of payment of insurance premium.

This, Abayomi said, is being piloted in Alimosho LGA, whereby people can contribute as little as one hundred naira daily or one thousand naira monthly to access healthcare as soon as the first month’s premium has been made.

Similarly, the Commissioner disclosed that the government has set aside one percent of the state’s consolidated revenue as Equity Fund contribution to pay insurance premium for the vulnerable and indigent. He stressed that this group has been identified strategically by using multi-dimensional poverty index tool to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

Abayomi said: “Since the commencement of the scheme, over 40,000 residents who fall under this group are enjoying access to free health care as part of the government’s equity contribution”.

The Commissioner also said that plans are also on to enlarge and sustain the pool to provide health insurance through crowd funding initiative.

“This is to be done through the Eko Social Health Alliance (EKOSHA), an alliance of local and international private, corporate and development partners, designed to raise additional funds, in order to pay premiums for the poor unable to pay for themselves”, he noted.

In her remarks, wife of the state governor, Dr. Ibironke Sanwo-Olu, said that the scheme is to assist the government achieve the state’s agenda of providing universal health coverage for the residents.

While reiterating the commitment of the government to ensuring that no one is left behind in having unhindered access to sustainable healthcare services, the First Lady urged residents to prioritize their health and buy into the scheme.

Dr. Ibijoke also implored the media and other relevant stakeholders to support the initiative through effective and efficient dissemination of vital information of the scheme.  

Board Chairman, LASHMA, Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija, assured that the ILERA-EKO Day will be celebrated every year “to mark our journey to 100 percent coverage of the informal sector of the Lagos State Health Scheme”.

A beneficiary, Rev. Victor Odebode, said that he has enjoyed proper and unhindered medical checkups and treatment since he enrolled on the scheme in 2019. He enjoined Lagosians to enroll in order to benefit from the scheme.

In the raffle draws conducted at the event, winners were presented with health scheme premium, cash prizes and gift items.

Ilera-Eko’s Ambassador, Mr. Sola Sowetan performed the Ilera-Eko theme song at the event.

Recall that the scheme, which was launched in February 2021 by LASHMA, was designed to ensure that all categories of people have access to qualitative and affordable healthcare services. 

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