Group to partner NHIS on blind community’s health in Ilorin

THE Executive Director of Home and Street Kids Initiative (HSKi), Miss Funmi Omisope, has said that it was ready to partner with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on the health of blind beggars in Ilorin.

Omisope who said that malaria was the major problem of the blind community spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Monday.

“Koro Afoju means community for the blind, and about 85 per cent of the people living there are blind.

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“Here malaria is their major problem apart from the fact that they are blind, and when they are sick, they pay more when they go to the hospital.

“We decided to collaborate with NHIS under the Universal Health Coverage, to give these group access to health, which will be launched by next year.

“An individual will pay just N2000 per annum and he or she will be captured, and the money takes care of the person’s health for the year.

“The money will be paid to an account, which one of them is a co-signatory and we will remit to the hospital of their choice.

“So the idea is that if a thousand people can pay, we think just about five to 10 people will get ill and visit the hospital in a month.

“So the pool of the money can be used to treat them,” she said.

Speaking on education for street children, Omisope said that the group was ready to train teenagers to acquire different skills.

“The health scheme is not a one-off thing, by January we are going to start a reception school, where we brush the street children up for six months before they are drafted into proper schools.

“Hopefully, we are also going to start the Hope Alive Skills Acquisition Programme (HASAP) for the teenagers and young adults among them.

“We will teach them things they can do to make money because we realise the moment they turn teenagers, they become ashamed of begging.

“And when they do not have anything to do, they can start stealing and we don’t want them to become a nuisance to the society.

“Government and philanthropists should also look into the welfare of the destitute in our society, it is not one man’s duty,” she said.

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