Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Human rights group, Anambra Civil Society Network (ACSONET), has launched an appeal to Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to consider the inclusion of the poor and the downtrodden in the state’s free health insurance scheme.
The group’s request followed Soludo’s recent offer of free Health Insurance to keke NAPEP (Tricycle) and bus drivers who would comply with the state government’s new tax directive in the State.
The Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu, in a statement, had disclosed that every compliant commercial bus driver will get a free Health Insurance cover that would enable the insured have access to basic health and emergency services in any Anambra State Hospital.
Speaking on the development, Chairman of ACSONET, Prince Chris Azor, who doubles as Non-State Actors’ Co-chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the State, commended the State Governor for offering free Health Insurance to IGR compliant commuters in the State.
He described the gesture as very thoughtful and unprecedented. “This is the first of its kind in the State, and deserves commendation,” he said.
Noting that the gesture will be a social protection strategy, Azor implored the governor to extend the same gesture to other less privileged and vulnerable in our society.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director and CEO Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), Dr Simeon Onyemaechi, has posited that the Initiative would end patronage of authorized drug vendors in the State.
He said: “This is one of the best ways of integrating the informal sector into the scheme’s pool which further advances our match to achieving universal health coverage” he said.
Comrade Azor therefore, made passionate appeal to the Governor to redeem his promise of onboarding a Social Protection Policy in the State. This he said would Institutionalize Social Security and Welfare of citizens as is obtainable in other climes.