05 Feb Empowering Our Communities Through Health Insurance Enrollment
Access to healthcare is a societal imperative. It promotes health, prevents disease, reduces disparities, and contributes to economic and social development. Ensuring equitable access to healthcare services is a fundamental step toward creating healthier, more prosperous, and more just communities and societies.
Access to healthcare services allows individuals to receive timely and appropriate medical care, leading to better health outcomes. Preventive care, early diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses and chronic conditions can significantly improve a person’s overall health and longevity. Regular healthcare visits enable the identification of risk factors and early signs of diseases. Vaccinations, screenings, and health education provided through healthcare services help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and reduce the incidence of preventable health conditions. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, and it promotes health equity. Ensuring that everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or geographical location, has access to quality healthcare helps reduce health disparities and inequalities.
Because we understand the importance of access to quality healthcare at SOS Children’s Villages in Nigeria, we have supported programme participants in (Alhajiri and Gonidamgari communities in Bolori LGA in Borno state to access healthcare services. These communities (Alhajiri and Gonidamgari communities in Bolori ward of MMC LGA) faced a significant challenge in healthcare accessibility. Many participants were either uninsured or underinsured, leaving them vulnerable to unexpected medical expenses or limited access to necessary medical services. As most of them are internally displaced or low-income earners. This challenge not only affected their physical well-being but also caused financial stress and anxiety.
A comprehensive health insurance enrollment drive in partnership with the Borno State Contributory Health Care Management Agency (BOSCHMA) to provide health care service at the grassroots level, was established in April 2023. The goal was to ensure that every individual and family had access to appropriate health insurance plans in line with their needs. Most of the participants were identified during the family strengthening initial and core assessment phase where 799 families with health challenges were selected and enrolled, they were issued insurance cards to serve as a means of identification and verification.
According to the testimony of Maryam, a programme participant, she had this to say, “We are always given priority at the hospital and they referred us to bigger hospitals during difficult cases, our joy has no end and we will always be grateful ‘’ Looking ahead, SOS Children’s Villages in Nigeria is committed to maintaining this success through regular health education awareness /workshops, enrollment drives, and collaborations with primary healthcare providers, BOSCHMA, and the CBO programme.