From Gyang Bere, Jos
Plateau State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (PLASCHEMA) has engaged the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Plateau on the need to sensitize rural communities toward achieving Universal Health Coverage in the state.
The Director, Health Services, Standards and Quality Control of the agency, Mr Wuyep David disclosed during a meeting with the CSOs yesterday said that CSOs remained critical stakeholders toward achieving universal health coverage in the state.
He said that the event was put together to seek their support to actualise the agency’s quest toward ensuring that all citizens of the state get access to affordable healthcare services.
He explained that the agency wants to leverage on the direct link most CSOs are having with the rural populace to toward achieving its mandate.
He added that the agency organised the meeting to enable it lean on the contacts of the CSOs to enable rural populace enrol in the scheme.
”As an agency, we deal with both the formal and informal sector, but the formal sector who are largely workers of state or local government areas, have been captured in our scheme already.
”Our major challenge at the moment is largely the informal sector; those local farmers, tomatoes sellers, etc, who survive on daily income
”And we can talk of achieving universal health coverage only when these category of persons are fully captured on this scheme and are seen to have easy access to affordable healthcare services.
”So, we decided to reach out to the category of persons, particularly at the rural areas through the CSOs because they are well positioned in communities.
”We decided to capitalise and leverage on the contacts of these CSOs in communities to reach out to the informal sector,”he said.
He explained that to enrol in the scheme, those in the informal sector are expected to pay N12,000 each annually, adding that the agency had created room to enable them pay this money in parts.
He explained that once an intending beneficiary is able to pay 50 per cent of the money, the agency would allow such person to access healthcare services under the scheme.
One of the participants at the event, Alhaji Faruk Musa, the Coordinator of the Muslim Council of Nigeria in Plateau, described the meeting as ‘apt’.
He said that meeting would yield positive result because CSOs are stakeholders at grassroots, adding that it would further place the focus of the agency on a better path.
”CSOs are present in the nooks an grannies of the society; they are community based and so this engagement will a long way to cascade the message of PLASCHEMA to the people.
”This interface today will afford PLASCHEMA the opportunity to reach out to a wide range of people in the informal sector,”he said.