The launch followed two – day official visit of the United Nation’s Coordinator on Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon and officials of World Health Organization, WHO and European Union, EU, to the state.
Government House Correspondent, Ejike Abana reports that with the successful launch, ndi Anambra can now access healthcare through the ASHIA scheme, by punching in USSD code *100*1# on their mobile phones.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Willie Obiano said that ASHIA has changed the way ndi Anambra access medicare describing it as an innovation and a legacy project of his administration.
Governor Obiano who recalled that his administration also intervened in Primary Healthcare centres, established Oxygen Plant and others, pointed out that the idea of an oxygen plant was concieved when his mother had a health emergency and was eventually saved by oxygen.
The Governor noted that as a result of the provision of the plant which has daily capacity of six hundred cylinders, oxygen was supplied free of charge to hospitals and other health facilities at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged ndi Anambra who are yet to buy into ASHIA, to do so noting that spending out of pocket can be quite challenging.
In his speech, Mr. Kallon, enrolled one hundred people from the disability Community and harped on the need to enact measures to ensure sustainability and targeting the most vulnerable.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Okpala who revealed that other states now come to Anambra to understudy the adoption model of ASHIA, thanked the Governor for supporting the initiative which he gave rise to the success story of the state health sector.
Commissioner Okpala used the opportunity to appeal to the UN to include Anambra in the Malaria funding just like every other states in the Country.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of ASHIA, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi who joined virtually said the Governor mandated them to give quality and accessible healthcare to ndi Anambra with equity in mind, which has culminated in establishment of topnotch models by the Agency.
Dr. Onyemaechi pointed out that with the electronic wallet, once the enrollee pays his or her premium of twelve thousand naira which can be done in instalments, such a person can then begin to access the scheme.
He explained that from next week, outlets where their vouchers will be sold, will begin to spring up across the state, but emphasized that it can also be accessed with ATM Cards.
Demonstration of the working of the USSD, enrolments of the aged, people living with HIV, single mothers, among others, featured during the event.