IT looked like the ATM card at a distance. I drew closer to some of the pregnant women and officials of the Ogun State Ministry of Health in order to assess it. Indeed, it was like the ATM or National Identity Card. The biometrics of the beneficiaries were captured in the cards. The poor pregnant women at its launching caressed them and offered gratitude to the Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, for a new lease of life.
From that day, Monday, 11 July, 2016, when the Araya Scale-up, a community based health insurance scheme, was launched, the card qualifies them to visit any of the designated healthcare providers in their respective local councils and access free healthcare without paying a dime.
The free health treatment covers all manners of local endemic diseases that contend with the health of pregnant women, mothers and their children. Ante natal and post natal services are assured. They will equally not have to worry about payment for diagnostic tests, as this is also covered by the scheme.
This is the first of such scheme in the history of Ogun State. Many pregnant women in Abeokuta North and Abeokuta South local government areas are already enjoying the free health facilities, including free drugs.
This social insurance scheme, once again, highlights the welfarist policy of the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration in Ogun State. As the governor often says, we are here because of these people.
I congratulate the governor for adding another feather to his cap. As it is said, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.
- Soyombo Opeyemi