Oyo Commends UNICEF on Supports for Children, Women Programmes
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
Oyo State Government has lauded the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for supporting the state on programmes and activities that concern children, women and other vulnerable groups in the state.
The Director of Press and Public Relation, Oyo State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Rotimi Babalola gave the commendation in Ibadan on Monday.
Babalola spoke at a media dialogue on improving access and uptake healthcare for marginalised women and children in Oyo State which was organised by Oyo State Ministry of Information in collaboration with Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) and UNICEF.
According to him, the state government was grateful to UNICEF for its activities in the state, adding that, its contributions towards efforts at ensuring the wellbeing of children and women in Oyo state was significant and commendable.
Also, the Executive Secretary of OYSHIA, Dr Olusola Akande while highlighting the efforts of the agency commended UNICEF for its supports saying the agency was determined to ensure that all residents of the state are enrolled in the scheme so as to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
He expressed delight that health insurance in the state has recorded 100,000 enrollees in the last 18 months of its operations and that the agency’s target was to hit 450,000 to cover five per cent of the population of the state in the next six months.
Akande reminded that the goal of the health insurance was to provide quality healthcare services for the people of the state without experiencing catastrophic health expenditure.
According to him, no fewer than 100 pregnant women in the state have delivered through Caesarean section (CS) done under the health insurance scheme and that thousands of residents of the state have benefited from the scheme.
He however expressed worry that many people are still not aware of the activities of OYSHIA and sought the support of the media to propagate the importance of health insurance to the people so that more people would enrol.
Akande disclosed that OYSHIA has been rated very high in terms of performance and assured that the agency would not relent in making sure that the people of the state enjoy quality healthcare without expending their entire savings on medical bills.
UNICEF Communication Specialist, Mrs Blessing Ejiofor in her remarks said access to quality healthcare is a right of every child and charged the media to assist in reporting issues that would prompt the policy makers to take proactive steps and implement policies that would make life better for children, women and other vulnerable groups.
She explained that the objective of the dialogue was to create opportunity for media advocacy on increasing access and uptake of healthcare services for children and venerable populations through the health insurance scheme using Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) as case study.
Ejiofor said the initiative was also designed to provide media partners with the knowledge and material that would assist them to understand the issues, advocate and report health insurance scheme to create more awareness of it and encourage more people to enrol.
During the dialogue, UNICEF Health Specialist, Dr Adebola Hassan and other experts in their various presentations dwelled on the importance and benefits of health insurance and stressed the need to attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and ensure good health for the citizenry.
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