NACA To Establish HIV/AIDS Trust Fund

The National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has initiated the process to establish an HIV/AIDS Trust Fund, the Director-General, NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu has disclosed.

Dr, Aliyu, who was speaking on Monday at the 4th National Council of AIDS meeting with a theme: “Making our money go further: Improving Efficiency of HIV service Delivery,” said the establishment of the HIV/AIDS Trust Fund is in agreement with the resolution of the last council meeting.

The NACA director general said the Trust Fund would be private driven, where private organizations and individuals will contribute to the fund.

While commending the donor agencies and partners, he pointed out that enormous work has been done within the HIV response since the last council meeting.

He stated that individual, organizational and collective efforts have accounted for the successes recorded and the improvement that has been seen.

Specifically, he acknowledged the contributions of the United States Government, the Global Funds and the World Bank; adding that NACA has gone through a restructuring process to reposition the agency to increase her effectiveness in coordinating the HIV response in Nigeria.

According to him, there is a global evidence in support of the interventions adopted and applied in delivery of HIV services.

He said: “However, we need to make our money go further, by exploring ways to increase our efficiency in the delivery of these services. The theme of the 4th NCA is a call to improve the efficiency of our services across the continuum of HIV care from prevention, to treatment and care services.

The United States (US) Government Representative, Shirley Daddy said as donor funding tightens, Nigeria must find ways to be more efficient, “to make our money work harder, and to achieve more with less.”

She pointed out that this has been their theme at the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) over the past several years.

According to her: “From our perspective, there are several reasons why this may be a positive development. First, a more efficient programme will be more sustainable, second, it will be more cost-effective once the Government of Nigeria takes over the programme at all levels and third, we will be able to locate and peace 150,000 more people living with HIV on live-saving treatment in the coming year, which is, of course, our overarching goal.”

She promised that the United State Government will continue to work with stakeholders to find sustainable ways to support HIV testing and counselling.

Just In: Kogi Doctors Suspend 72 Days Strike

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Kogi State, has suspended its 72-day old strike to enable further negotiations with the state government.

The Chairman of the chapter, Dr Godwin Tijani, said this on Tuesday in a statement after an Emergency Congress of the Association in Lokoja.

He said the suspension was to honour the NMA National President, Prof. Mike Ogirima who appealed to the congress to suspend the strike, to further dialogue with the state government.

Tijani also said that the congress decided to suspend the strike due to the plea from the general public, coupled with the love the doctors had for the patients.

“All doctors working with Kogi Government are hereby directed to resume work as from Thursday, March 22.

“The Congress also expected the state government to pay the arrears of salary owed its doctors within the next one month and address other issues that resulted in the strike, to avoid another round of strike.

“The congress warned against any form of victimisation of any member of the association that participated in the strike as such action will be resisted by NMA,” Tijani said.

‘’The association, however, commended ‘’the medical elders’’, CMD KSSH, CMD HMB, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Dr Attah Ahmed.

‘’We also praise the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, all for their role to ensure amicable resolution of the crisis.

Newsmen report that the NMA on Jan. 7, directed its members in all the state hospitals to embark on strike due inability of the state government to meet their demands.

The demands include: “Irregularities in salary payment for doctors. 10 doctors owed salary ranging from four to 15 months, gross underpayment of salaries to doctors with some receiving as low as N35, 000 per month.

“Non-promotion and annual step increment for several years, non-implementation of Revised CONMESS, 60 per cent payment of August to December 2017 salary to doctors while implementing 100 per cent tax deduction from the same salary.

“Retirement of senior doctors yet to attain the statutory age or year of retirement, implementation of ‘No-work-No-Pay’ policy in the ongoing strike by not paying doctors January 2018 salary.”

NAN

 

Blood Donation: Haematologist Calls For Action By Government And People

 

To buttress the importance of blood for the survival of humans, a Haematologist has called on kind-hearted Nigerians to take the issue of blood donation as a duty they must perform for humanity.

Dr. Adebisi Adetolua revealed this in a chat with this medium recently in Osogbo.

She said that from experience, Nigerians attached all sorts of taboo to the practice of donating blood; a practice which had helped to save countless numbers of lives that would have been lost due to loss of blood or non-availability of blood to carry out blood transfusion.

According to her, “most traditional and religious beliefs still attach some form of taboos and redline against the practice of blood donation.

“Some religious sects have advocated a policy of no blood transfusion that has disallowed their adherents from seeking the option of blood transfusion even in medical emergencies and also from voluntarily allowing their members from donating blood”.

The Haematologist revealed that such organisations were supposed to be in the forefront of championing the campaign for the encouragement of the practice, adding that government had played its part and it cannot force the citizens to carry out the practice.

”Many factors contribute to the problems facing blood donation in the country. These factors include donating of unscreened blood, taboos, short fall of eligible blood donors [on health grounds] all which had contributed to depletion of blood reserves all over blood banks in the country.

“The most annoying thing is that even family members of patients that need blood transfusions to survive are reluctant to donate blood.

“They prefer to contribute money amongst themselves to get touts who hang around blood banks in designated hospitals to buy blood from them.

“Another situation which had further increased the rate is unscreened blood being transfused on unsuspecting patients. This unscreened blood may have been infected with Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, and other blood related infections.”

She called on government and all its agencies to put hands on deck and work out a comprehensive blood donor policy in order to ensure maximum survival of its citizen.

The Haematologist stressed that the benefits of blood donation include good health and a reduced risk of cancer and haemochromatosis which is a health condition that arises due to excess absorption of iron by the body.

She revealed that haemochromatosis may either be inherited, caused by prolonged intake of alcohol, anaemia or other disorder, thus regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload.

According to her, amongst the benefits is also maintenance of a healthy heart and liver, weight loss for the obese and people who are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and stimulation of blood cell production.

“It helps in reducing the risk of damage to liver and pancreas. Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.

“It is important to know that human blood cannot be manufactured, people are the only source of it and that is why it is important to donate blood and help those who need it.

“It is possible to store your own blood for future needs but there is need for the blood to be stored in a good and hygienic blood bank”.

She however warned that blood donation should not be very frequent and there was need for consultation with a doctor before donating to avoid any health issues.

 

HEALTH MATTERS: Osun School Classroom Converted To Open Defecation Spot

 

By Francis Ezediuno

The attention of the State of Osun Ministries of Health and Environment has been drawn to the unhealthy act by some residents of Ifon town in Orolu Local Government Area of the state as they defecate openly in some schools.

One of the schools where such act is rampant is AUD Elementary School, Ifon.

OSUN DEFENDER’s visit to the area showed that within the school premises, there is an abandoned classroom which has been converted to a makeshift open defecation spot where pupils and residents visit to answer nature’s call.

A resident in the area said that the stench oozing from the classroom has now become totally unbearable, a situation which is giving the school authority and concerned parents cause for worry.

According to a teacher, the school authority has been helpless because a good number of the teachers are not residents of the town and several attempts at getting the Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) Department of the local council to act has fallen on deaf ears continually.

He explained that the act was not always perpetrated during school hours but before and after school and during the weekend break.

The health implications according to the health officials would be costly, as the state of health of the children and also staff members could be compromised as a result of the foul smell oozing from the affected sections of building.

They urged the state government to intervene in the situation so as to avert an epidemic of adverse proportions since it involved an elementary school where innocent children were supposed to get educated and not a ticket to their early grave.

O’Ambulance Achieves 13,000 Rescue Cases Feat In 5 Years

 

The Osun Ambulance Service has handled more than 13, 000 cases of accident rescue for victims since inception in 2013.

 

This means the service has promptly responded to distress calls with standard first aid for patients before taking them to the nearest hospital in all parts of the state.

 

The figure is a big break, one that is unprecedented and unequalled in the history of the state as no government provided ambulance for the citizenry talk of having a service that would rescue such a high figure within 5 years of existence.

 

The Ambulance service launched by Governor Rauf Aregbesola in 2013 has its operations coordinated across Osun with 5 stationed ambulances in strategic locations; 50 in local governments across the state.

 

In Osogbo the state capital, the ambulance service has a station along Iwo/Ibadan road where issues affecting the rapid response vehicles are administered.

 

Unlike the past where accident victims are helped by good Samaritans and men of the FRSC if its near to their station, the 24-hours service has since engaged 404 paramedics who have been trained and equipped with designated phone calls to respond to distress calls from members of the public.

 

A major feat achieved for the past half a decade is that for every call received, officials of the Ambulance Service move into the scene within 10 minutes.

FG Declares Dass First LG In North To Attain ODF Status

The federal government has declared Dass as the first local government area in the Northern part of the country to attain the Open Defecation Free (ODF) status.
Making the declaration in Dass, the headquarters of the local government in Bauchi State Monday, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, said with this feat, Dass is now the second local government after Obaniku in Cross River State to attain the ODF status.
Presenting the ODF certificate to Dass through the state government, the minister explained that Obaniku in Cross River State was the first, and Dass in Bauchi State is the second in the country to attain the ODF status.
“Today, I’m excited that Dass LGA has come on board as the first LGA in Northern part to be ODF and the second in the country,” he said.
Adamu said that with the high priority his ministry placed on water, sanitation and hygiene and the support of development partners, the country has moved close to achieving ODF by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 2030.
Adamu congratulated the people of Dass LGA and Bauchi State for the achievement, as well as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UK Aid for supporting the implementation of Sanitation, Hygiene and Water in Nigeria (SHAWN) under which this project is recorded.

HEALTH MATTER: Free Health Not Sustainable – Osun Lawmaker

 

By Francis Ezediuno

Honourable (Pharm.) Adeleke Ogunsola, Chairman, House Committee on Health in this interview with OSUN DEFENDER’S Francis Ezediuno, explains why at this time Osun needs to implement the health insurance scheme, steps he has taken to intervene in the impasse between doctors in the state service and other sundry issues.

OSDF: As the Chairman House Committee on Health, what are the areas of your oversight functions?

Ogunsola: All the health facilities in the state are under my committee. That is what we call oversight. We oversee what they have appropriated for in the budget estimates of the year and make sure that, that is what is actually being executed by the Executive.

The Appropriation law is what we oversee to ensure that it is actually followed to the letter.

OSDF: Is health free in Nigeria albeit the State of Osun?

Ogunsola: Health can never be free. In Nigeria, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which is supposed to be a kind of relief is not even free. For some surgical operations, it may not be covered except the enrollee enjoys a special allowance apart from the general one.

Back to Osun, the progressives, main theme is that health care must be free for all and sundry at all levels. That is what the progressives would always want and pursue, but sometimes the economic reality would not allow it.

We have come to realise that health care cannot be free. To certain categories of people, that is, children, elderly and the pregnant women it can be free, but the working class has to pay for the health care services they enjoy.

Since the inception of the Rauf Aregbesola administration, health has been free, but for some few months now due to the paucity of funds and the inability of government to meet some demands which led to the agreed modulated salaries, it is certain that it could not be sustained. This has also affected the health care delivery system in the state. The volume and quality of services delivery has dwindled due to no fault of the state government.

On immunisation, Osun has been rated second nationally. Even the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has commended the State Government of Osun for being the first to pay its counterpart fund of N21 million.

Do not also forget that the government gave pregnant women Mama kits recently, while the children whether of the rich or poor and the elderly are also taken care of. All these categories of people fall under the vulnerable group and the state government ensures they enjoy maximum health care delivery for free.

Mr. Governor is the first governor to implement the ‘Agba Osun’ programme where the elderly are paid monthly stipends. This came about after the state government worked with a consultant Gerontologist from the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife on a research on the elderly.

In the overall, we are still saying that in Osun, health care delivery is relatively free.

OSDF: Health Insurance Scheme is still attributed to the working class, is that supposed to be the norm?

Ogunsola: It is supposed to be in stages. That is for the formal and informal sectors. You know when government wants to introduce such scheme, it is easier for it to be introduced to its personnel; the formal sector. In Osun now, the health insurance scheme will be introduced for both the formal and informal sectors. It will come on stream very soon.

Those who even need it most are those on the informal sector. For a token, they are going to enjoy professional care and advice, quality drugs and be attended to by qualified medical personnel.

I am very sure people in the informal sector will like to key into it because looking at the financial aspect, of the scheme they spend less for more care.

OSDF: Will the state health scheme be made compulsory for citizens or for only interested participants?

Ogunsola: The system we want to operate will make it voluntarily compulsory. In delivering a new thing to the people, they are usually scared of change but that is the only permanent thing in life especially to their health. I can assure you that there will be sensitisation that will make 99% of citizens both the formal and informal to take interest.

The State Ministry of Health is in the last stage and the scheme will be introduced very soon.

OSDF: How will enrollees access the services; will it be only in public health facilities?

Ogunsola: These things will be spelt out. I can assure you that during the sensitization and enlightenment programmes which will be well publicised, these things will be spelt out in details.

We have to come down to the level of the people at the grass roots. We want to pass the information and we also want them to comprehend it.

OSDF: There have been cases of staff who hardly report to their duty stations?

Ogunsola: You are very correct to a certain extent but usually people far away from the grass roots may not know what is happening. That is why the State Ministry of Health has a monitoring team in place.

This team’s job is to visit these remote stations even at night where the staffers are running shifts.

Government has gone to the extent of even introducing Sheriff Guards to monitor activities of health workers at these remote locations. The government is aware of this development and in order to support the orthodox method of monitoring, Sheriff Guards have been assigned to complement.

The government is also trying to encourage and motivate the monitoring teams in terms of logistics and other things.

OSDF: The impasse between the medical doctors in the state employment and the Ministry of Health vis-à-vis the state government, how have your interventions to resolve the crisis been?

Ogunsola: Medicine is a noble profession and taking a look at the Hippocratic Oath medical doctors take, they should not allow themselves to be used by politicians or even allow their own profession to be politicized. The difficulties we are experiencing as a state is not peculiar to Osun, the situation is the same all across the country with regards to the economy which we have severally explained to them.

We think that they would have been well informed to know that what is happening is not a deliberate action taken by the state government.

We have to give kudos to the governor and he has given directive that anything that has to do with health must be given top priority; their entitlements, equipment and their work environment.

We found out that their union which is supposed to understand and enlighten members more about the group’s aim is also falling short because of the prevailing circumstances.

Therefore, my committee’s intervention as a parliament include bringing the leadership of the state’s Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to the House of Assembly for Mr. Speaker’s intervention on three occasions and we have extracted commitments from them only for them to go back and rescind on what we have agreed on.

We will continue to intervene. They have even promised that by the end of this month, we will have cause to smile in my dialogue with the leadership.

OSDF: As the Chairman House Committee on Health, have you sponsored or supported any health related bill?

Ogunsola: Yes! OSACA Bill was from me but I allowed Dr. Atolagbe, a member of my committee to make it a private bill. What is more important to me and the government is that health care should be delivered adequately at the local level.

We also have the State Primary Health Care Development Bill for the establishment of the State of Osun Primary Health Care Development Board which was graciously signed into law by the governor last year. Despite the paucity of funds, the Osun government paid N21 million counterpart fund to the NPHCDA so that our children could be immunized to prevent the childhood killer diseases.

We have made a lot of resolutions, some of which have led to the rehabilitation of the nine state hospitals in all the three senatorial districts in the state.

The one thing that is germane to me is that of preventable diseases. From day one, I have made sure that all the local governments benefitted maximally from it. There are other ones we have done that we did not need to sponsor a bill to make resolutions but we did it through our oversight functions. It has helped the state and the House of Assembly.

O’Ambulance has done well and it is a pride to Osun. Through them, many lives have been saved by their emergency interventions.

Air Conditioner May Be Killing You Slowly

HEALTH MATTERS

WITH FRANCIS EZEDIUNO

Air conditioning has lately become the perfect exemplar of luxury and comfort. In this ultra- modern era, air conditioning is not only installed in homes, malls, theatres, vehicles and workplaces but also in medicals, hospitals and health centres.

The primary aim of air conditioning is keeping people’s comfort uncompromised and also multiplying respective business profits by charging extra taxes.

It is obvious that people who can easily afford ACs do not think twice before buying and installing ACs in their homes and offices.

However, a recent research on negative health effects of air conditioning has found that this sophisticated epitome of luxury and comfort has several health risks which can lead to many health issues.

Due to heavy pollution and extreme global warming, climates are getting extreme hot, especially the period preceding the rains are getting unbearably harsh and hot.

This is the sole reason why people are opting for air conditioning at their respective places to get some relief from scorching and blazing heat. But one needs to put into consideration why it becomes tough for people to bear the heat outside after getting out of the air conditioned homes and workplaces. That’s because the body stresses itself to adjust between two extreme temperatures thereby weakening the immune system.

What are the seemingly negative effects of air conditioning on our health?

As much of southern and northern Nigeria and most parts of the country rest under an extreme heat alert, many are looking for relief from the sweltering outdoor temperatures.

The on hand alternative for the rich and those that can provide it is to indulge in exposing themselves to compressed air from the air conditioner or air conditioning system and thus, they have these units installed in their offices, houses; which included bedrooms and parlours and even in their cars.

For those who cannot, the best alternative is to resort to ceiling, standing, table or wall mounted fans.

Hot and humid air blowing in from the Sahara desert cause temperature to soar into the low- and mid 30°C on an average day and to some, this may cause some level of uncomfortable situation especially when the almighty IBEDC strikes and power supply is cut off for hours.

Air conditioners across some states are undoubtedly working overtime, especially in these months preceding the first drops of rain but despite their welcomed relief from the scorching heat, air conditioners may not be the best option for a person’s health when it comes to cooling off.

OSUN DEFENDER examined the top five health concerns that surround the use of air conditioners in the tropic climate belt that Nigeria falls within.

Illness And Constant Fatigue

When a person is observed shivering at their place of work even in the humid temperature, that might be the reason for constant tiredness.

Research shows that people who work in over air-conditioned environments may experience chronic headaches and fatigue.

Those who work in buildings which are constantly being pumped full of cool air may also experience constant mucous membrane irritation and breathing difficulties.

This leaves the person more vulnerable to contracting colds, flu’s and other illnesses.

After a long days exposure to the AC, on getting home, some people would switch to fans which further compounds their health status.

The continual switching of cooling systems also impart on the body’s immune system.

Dry And Breaking Skin

The more the long hours spent in an air conditioned environment, the more the likely cause of the skin to lose moisture, a situation which makes people who have conditioned themselves to being in air conditioned spaces always make use of the aid of constant supply of moisturizers which in its end may begin to lead to one form of dry skin or other symptoms associated to skin breakage.

Adds To The Effects Of Chronic Illness

A typical culprit of this is the Central air conditioning systems that are known to enhance the effects of illness that a person may already be suffering from or have passed undiagnosed due in part to none presentation of symptoms.

The AC is notorious for increasing the symptoms of low blood pressure, arthritis, and neuritis, making pain management more difficult for those adamant on using their central air conditioners.

The Inability To Deal With Heat

Those who spend a lot of time in an air conditioned environment become increasingly more intolerant of hot summer temperatures.

A little time spent outdoors can be compared to staying in an oven.

This is mainly caused by the stress on the body from moving from a cool environment to the sweltering outdoor air.

A typical example in the mid day Nigerian sun is to experience itching and uncontrolled heavy sweating.

This intolerance of the heat has lead to an increase in heat-related deaths during heat waves, which now averages at 400 deaths each summer in many countries in the tropical climatic belt.

Breathing Problems

Though, the ACs installed in cars may be a saving grace while stuck in traffic on a hot day, they happen to be the worst offenders for circulating germs and micro-organisms that cause breathing problems.

Researchers have successfully found eight types of mould living inside 22 out of 25 cars tested.

Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionairre’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia.

Weaker Immunity

Air conditioning creates an artificial change in temperature which is unhealthy for human immunity causing weakening of immune system. People who frequently switch between extreme temperatures by staying inside home and office and later outside in scorching heat fall sick more frequently for no apparent reason.

Sinusitis

According to researchers, people who spend more than 4 hours in air conditioning environment are more likely to get diagnosed with sinusitis infections, as the chilling cold air tend to harden or dry the mucous gland.

Allergy

The negligence in cleaning the air conditioners can lead to accumulation of dust, bacteria and mold in the air circulating ducts which later on circulates infectious air causing skin irritations, redness of skin, itchiness and skin allergy which is another common negative health effect of air conditioning.

 

 

 

 

Meningitis Kills Four In Niger State

Four people have died from Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Niger State as the state has recorded the outbreak of the disease.

Presently about 31 cases have been reported with nine laboratory tests confirmed.

The four deaths were recorded in Katcha Local Government Area of the state.

The State Commissioner of Health, Dr Mustapha Jibril confirmed the case to journalists at a briefing on Wednesday morning.

However, two Local Governments are said to be affected by the outbreak which are Katcha and Magama Local Government Area, both in Niger state.

ECOWAS Opens Regional Centre For Surveillance And Disease Control In Abuja

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has opened its Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control (RCSDC) office in Abuja.

The technical opening of the centre on Wednesday was attended by members of the West African Health Organisation, two ministers from ECOWAS and development partners.

The centre will work with ECOWAS to promote health security in the region and will begin operation with 11 staff recruited from across the region.

In his welcome speech at the event, the Deputy Director-General of West Africa Health Organisation, Laurent Assogba, thanked the Nigerian government for accepting to set up and host the centre.

Mr. Assogba said the centre became necessary to help the region combat diseases from spreading across its countries.

He said regional leaders saw the need to collaborate in disease control especially after the Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015, which quickly spread across the region.

“The 47th session of the authority of Head of State and Government of ECOWAS held in 2015 in Ghana approved the establishment of RCSDC with headquarters in Nigeria. The agency is setup to strengthen member states’ health systems and enhance the region’s capacity for epidemics prevention, diagnosis and control.”

Mr. Assogba added that the staff were recruited by ECOWAS after commissioners of the group gave their approval.

Togo’s Minister of Health, who is also the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers, Moustafa Mijiyawa, said the establishment of the centre demonstrated the willingness of the authorities to fight epidemics that have been ravaging the region.

Mr. Mijiyawa said the region needs to collaborate in the fight against epidemics and public diseases because these have the ability to cross borders, especially due to the porous borders in West Africa.

“Going by our recent experiences in the fight against epidemics especially in the Ebola crisis, it has become sine qua non to take up the mission of disease coordination, surveillance, response, diagnosis and prevention and control across the region,” he said.

“RCSDC is set up because we know prevention is better than cure. We know that outbreaks of diseases can have adverse effect on the economic, social and pathological environment.”

The Nigerian Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria was honoured to be entrusted by sister countries to host the centre.

He said Nigeria gladly accepted the task due to the role it played during the fight against Ebola in Guinea and Liberia.

Mr. Ehanire said setting up the centre in Nigeria will assist not just Nigeria, but other West African countries to have more coordination and responses to disease control.

“There have been increase outbreaks of disease in the country and the West African region, it has become necessary to take action to study the epidemiology of such diseases and know effective ways of responding because diseases are easily transmitted across borders,” the minister said.

Osun Sensitises Residents Over Health Insurance Scheme

The training of medical personnels, provision of drugs, localising of health insurance scheme in the state are all steps taken by the government of the State of Osun towards the launching of the Osun Social Insurance Health Scheme (OSHIS).

This was revealed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Adelani Baderinwa during a one day sensitisation meeting with media practitioners in Osogbo on Wednesday.

Speaking further, the commissioner stated that the state health insurance scheme which is now fully functional is established so that its benefits and advantages would be enjoyed by both the indigenes and residents of the state.

“The scheme was established for the sake and purpose of everybody in the state as its coverage is universal.

“Nobody is excluded from the scheme for any reason. It is for everybody to access.

The commissioner also revealed that modalities had been put in place to ensure that the scheme enjoys all round success and that people which it was meant for would access it.

In his opening remark, the Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Dr. Gbenga Oyinlola stated that the need for the sensitisation meeting arose as a result of creating awareness as to the kick off of the health insurance scheme in the state.

He noted that the health insurance scheme when accessed by everybody would be an avenue to make healthy living realisable in the state.

According to him, “the need for universal health coverage for all is irrespective of class, status and gender”.

“For the State of Osun, one of the modalities of grading good health is through the health insurance scheme and media sensitisation is very important because people will know the benefits of the programme as it gets to the public sphere”.

Also, the Executive Secretary of the Osun Social Health Insurance Scheme (OSHIS), Dr. Niyi Oginni stated that the idea behind the scheme was to start a process that will make health services universally available to all and sundry in the state.

“The scheme would be operated on equity where those who do not have money can have access to quality health services and we want it to succeed so that Osun will be an example to emulate”.