The Member representing Bende Federal Constituency and the Spokesperson of House of Representatives Rep. Benjamin Kalu was at Ojoto Akanasato and Obosi in Idemili North and South Local Government of Anambra State to flag of the Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) a series of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) while representing the Speaker, House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Health Care Services.
Speaking at the flag off which held on Thursday, August 5, 2021, the Spokesperson highlighted the importance of health in the society and the reason for which the government has decided to pay close attention to it through programmes such as National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He added that the GIFSHIP is the latest addition of one of the innovative programmed of the NHIS. He said:
‘Group Individual Family Social Health Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP), the programme that we are here today to flag off, is the latest in a series of innovative programmes implemented by NHIS in response to the concerns raised by legislators on the need to improve access to affordable and quality healthcare for their various constituencies mostly comprised of the rural and informal segment of the Nigerian public.
Under the structured system created by GIFSHIP, philanthropists, politicians, foundations, trusts and other organizations can now sponsor the health coverage of people in rural and underserved communities. As you can imagine, several members of the 9th House of Representatives have seized the opportunity to sponsor the health coverage of constituency members with remarkable results.
In Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Nassarawa, Kogi and Kaduna States, where the programme was piloted, more than 20,000 constituents have been enrolled and are presently accessing healthcare for the next two years. The success of this programme in the above-mentioned states motivated the extension of the initiative to an additional five states including Anambra, Enugu, Benue, Osun and Oyo. Today, GIFSHIP is being flagged-off simultaneously in these states and it is projected that over 15,000 persons will be beneficiaries of the programme. As this project scales to every part of the country, I am confident that the quality of life of Nigerians living in the rural areas will be improved.’
The Igwe of Ojoto, Igwe Gerald Mbamalu in his response, expressed great delight in the programme and gratitude to the federal government for remembering his people out of the 178 communities in Anambra state and pledged to make the program successful while thanking Mr. President, the Minister of Health and the Spokesperson of the House
Also speaking, Hon Don Unachukwu, Chairman Idemili South Local Government Area Council of Anambra state, expressed gratitude to the federal government and House of Representatives for remembering his local government for the flag of GIFSHIP and promised to ensure that people access the medical care provided.
The community also seized the opportunity to thank Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu for representing the South East region excellently in the House, describing him as one of the best brands of igbo politicians that the entire igbo race is proud of. They wished him more capacity in political growth.
The event was attended by Igwe Gerald Mbamalu (KSM) Ojoto III Anambra state, Chief Donatus Anozie (KSM) President General Ojoto Akanasato, Hon (Dr.) Henry Archinbong, Hon. (Dr.) Martins Oke, Dame (Dr.) Joyce Nkem Anietie Umoren (Director/ Clerk Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, Mrs Chinyere Aniebo, Anambra State Coordinate ( NHIS), Dr.Anaduaka Churchill, Secretary Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Awka Branch, Anambra State.Mrs Nwakanma Gertrude South East Manager, SUNU Health Management Organisation (HMO) representing Dr Patrick Korie, Managing Director SUNU Health Management Organisation (HMO), Akabisi Florence Chibuzo, Head Business Development, SUNU Health Nigeria Limited, Dr. Obiora Okafor, Medical Director, Ibex Memorial Hospital, Onitsha Anambra state amongst others.