Kwara government wins health innovation prize

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara

Kwara State’s Community Health Insurance Scheme secured more global acclaim on Tuesday when it won a finalist prize at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, Development Assistance Committee awards for taking development initiative to scale.
The scheme which entitles beneficiaries to subsidized year round basic healthcare for a N500 premium had earlier received commendation from the UN and Bill Gates Foundation for its creative approach to pro-poor health care.

Receiving the prize, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed said the state government upscaled the scheme to promote human capital development and enhance access to quality healthcare in the rural areas.
He told the audience which included European, African and Asian diplomats as well as development experts, that the government aims to achieve universal coverage of the estimated 1 million rural dwellers in the state under the scheme by 2018.

He applauded his predecessor, Bukola Saraki, for initiating the scheme in 2007 in Edu Local Government of the state, stressing that Community Health insurance has now been extended to 10 local government areas in the state.

Mr. Ahmed commended Kwara’s partners in the scheme, the Dutch Government, The Health Insurance Fund, Hygeia Community Health and PharmAccess Foundation, for their support and pledged his administration’s commitment to achieving universal coverage for all rural dwellers in the state.

Erik Solheim, Chair of OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) said the objective of the prize is to support ideas that have been scaled up and that work in the real world. He said the organization seeks to mobilize more investment in such scalable solutions, not least from the 34 OECD members

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