The Lagos State Government is set to partner with the United States Aid for Development (USAID) on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis treatment in a bid to ensure that patients with the disease, and are subscribed to the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), have access to quality healthcare.
Speaking during the visit of a USAID delegation to the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, the General Manager of the Agency, appreciated USAID for the partner offer to the Lagos State Government and LASHMA on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis treatment for those on the State’s Health Scheme.
She emphasised the State’s commitment to increasing the number of TB providing facilities under the Lagos State Health Scheme, as well as improving the capacity of the existing facilities, adding that enrollees on the scheme have been enjoying the TB associated benefits and the goal of the Agency is to ensure that Lagos is able to handle TB and HIV just as easily as malaria.
Dr. Zamba said that the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) would not rest on its oars to ensure that all residents have one form of health insurance or the other, noting that the Agency presently has about 300,000 subscribers under the Scheme in addition to 40,000 indigent residents that the Lagos State Government is paying their premiums with the equity fund.
Earlier, the leader of the visiting delegation and Deputy Director, USAID Nigeria office of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, Mrs. Omoshalewa Oyelaran, said that USAID would partner with the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) in ensuring that the scheme is able to provide TB Services.
This partnership, according to her, would include capacity building to ensure that all the health facilities under the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS) will not only be able to identify patients with TB and HIV, but would also count, notify, treat and monitor patients.
While commending the Lagos State Government for its dedication and commitment to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for all residents, the Deputy Director said that USAID would continue to provide sustainable health financing for tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus in the State.
Oyelaran said that the Lagos State Government has made a lot of progress on TB and HIV than all other States in the country, promising that USAID would intensify its efforts to ensure that there is an integration of TB and HIV in the Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS).
She also urged the Lagos State Government to increase the equity fund in order to cater for TB and HIV patients on the health insurance scheme, as well as include the patients in the State’s social register.
In his remarks, the Project Director, Development Governance International (DGI) Consult, Dr. Gafar Alawode, who commended the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) for starting a very important model in the health insurance sector, said that countries with the best practices in tuberculosis are Indonesia and India.
He stated that with the intervention of USAID, other States in the country as well as other countries in Africa would soon start to come to Lagos State to learn the best practices.
Other USAID officers in the delegation included the TB team lead, Office of HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, Dr. Temitayo Odusote; Project Management Specialist, Domestic Resource Mobilisation Service Delivery Team, Mr. Peter Egena and the Senior Technical Adviser, HIV, Dr. Adeoye Adegboye.