Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has flagged off the State’s Health Insurance Scheme. He did on Wednesday assisted by officials of the World Health Organization (WHO) led by the Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, when the organization paid a working visit to the governor at Government House Owerri to flag off the Mobile Health Insurance Scheme.
Governor Uzodimma expressed gratitude to WHO and pleaded with the delegation to continue to be partners with Imo State on areas that will help to enhance the good health of the people. The governor noted the benefits of the health insurance scheme and explained that Imo people will be better off embracing the scheme under his watch and the cooperation of the WHO.
He commended the delegation for finding Imo a worthy partner for the scheme and said that the WHO should consider extending other opportunities to Imo that will affect the health of the Communities in a Post – COVID-19 era.
The Governor informed that his administration is committed to full health care insurance that will see Imo people come out of the COVID-19 through the partnership with the WHO. He requested the WHO not to abandon the State in the pursuit of good health, but to continue in their support, especially in the areas of COVID-19 Community testing. Governor Uzodimma thanked the workers and staff of WHO for their assistance to Imo State in the past and now, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
The Governor said:”We are committed with the new partnership with the WHO and the State appreciates the global role played by the WHO in the management of the COVID -19 Pandemic.” He used the opportunity to reassure Imo people of an environment of health for all. In a welcome address earlier, the Imo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Darmaris Osunkwo informed that Governor Uzodimma has demonstrated an uncommon commitment to the improvement of health and well-being of the people, and informed that by the projections of this administration in the next two years, Imo State would have attended a 75% health for all the 27 LGAs.
Appreciating the efforts of the WHO to the Health care delivery in Imo State, the State Traditional Council represented by the Chairman, Imo State Community Policing Committee and Traditional Ruler of Amaifeke Autonomous Community, His Royal Highness, Eze Emmanuel Okeke alongside other Traditional Rulers conferred Chieftaincy Title of OCHENDU (Protector of Life) of Imo State on the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo. The Imo State Health Insurance Scheme has the potentials to reduce the 92% Out of Pocket Expenditure (OPE) on health; bring health services closer to millions of people of the State and achieve seamless coverage of the over 96% population in the informal sector of the State.
While helping Governor Uzodimma flag-off the ceremony, Dr. Kazadi expressed happiness that the health insurance innovation would help to deepen the collaboration that is existing between the WHO and Imo State Government, noting that the WHO is committed to providing technical guidance on every step of the journey towards repositioning the health sector in Imo State. Dr. Kazadi said:” My Technical Colleagues would be working with your team on the key areas of focus in line with the State strategic health development plan while holding each other accountable.”
He acknowledged that the existing partnership between the WHO and Imo State in health and primary healthcare has produced great results within a short time. In his thanks to the Traditional Rulers and Imo State in general for conferring on him the Chieftaincy title, Dr. Kazadi expressed joy and said: “I feel like I have entered my home.”
The flag-off ceremony was witnessed by the Secretary to Imo State Government Chief Cosmas Iwu, The Chief of Staff, The Hon. Commissioners, Members of CAN Imo State led by their Chairman in the State Rev. Eches Eches and other Stakeholders in the health sector in Imo State.