By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Buying a health insurance policy has now been made easier by a leading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, as a result of a strategic partnership with a foremost healthcare service provider, AXA Mansard Insurance Plc.
The collaboration between both organisations is aimed to deepen access, participation and enrolment in health insurance for more Nigerians.
Business Post gathered that with the deal, customers can now simply dial *987*7# on their Airtel number to enrol for affordable and robust mobile health insurance plans from AXA Mansard.
It was learned that this initiative is in response to the federal government’s goal, through the National Health Insurance Scheme, to provide easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians by leveraging on the USSD channel, an easy-to-use and interactive platform.
“Airtel Nigeria is always exploring innovative ways and platforms that will make life easier, more meaningful and more enjoyable for Nigerians.
“With this initiative, we are not just delivering bespoke health insurance services to the doorstep of more people, we are also leading a quiet revolution that will drive and deepen health insurance inclusion by removing the many barriers that have hitherto excluded many well-meaning Nigerians from participating in the sector,” the Head of Mobile Financial Services at Airtel Nigeria, Mr Muyiwa Ebitanmi, said.
Insurance penetration in Nigeria is still low and this is because of various factors like implementation of health insurance schemes, low level of awareness, affordability, ineffective distribution systems and inefficient payment models.
The partnership between Airtel Nigeria and AXA Mansard is aimed at solving these challenges and assisting Nigerians to access a viable health insurance scheme as subscribers will have access to over 1,000 hospitals nationwide for quality healthcare services.
Malaria cover, inpatient, outpatient, specialist medical consultations, immunizations, family planning, ambulance services, dental care and more are some of the covers provided in the AXA Mansard Health plans.
“Our research has shown the value and importance of having a health insurance plan to the public especially for the emerging customers in the country, but for many reasons, the uptake of insurance products has been low,” the Head of Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, Mr Alfred Egbai, commented on the transaction.
He further said, “In order to mitigate these challenges and satisfy the health needs of the retail consumer whilst also encouraging the uptake of health insurance in the country, we have partnered with Airtel Nigeria to provide a solution that gives users a convenient way to purchase and manage their AXA Mansard micro-insurance plans.
Plateau Starts IPV2 Immunisation Programme
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Plateau State Government has launched immunisation of infants with the new Inactivated Polio Vaccine second dose (IPV2) against poliomyelitis and infant mortality.
The event, which kicked off on Wednesday, was unveiled by Dr Gabriel Adah, a Director from the Federal Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) and Dr Livinus Miapkwap, Executive Director, Plateau Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) at Epid Unit by former UTC.
Dr Adah described the commencement of the IPV2 immunisation programme as unique and timely, toward warding off any negative impact on the health of infants and the Nigerian society as a whole.
“The Nigerian government is introducing this IPV2 into the nation’s routine immunisation schedule programme to ensure that our children are all well-protected against polio disease.
“Although Nigeria has been certified Polio free since August 2020, we don’t want a resurgence of the disease, hence the introduction of the second dose (IPV2.)
“I can say it is part of what the World Health Organisation (WHO) called ‘Polio End Game Strategy’, toward ensuring that Nigeria maintains her level of certification,” he explained.
According to him, “we are targeting children from age 0 – 23 months and expecting that all parents and guardians cooperate with the Government to ensure that our children, who are eligible are vaccinated appropriately.”
He disclosed that one of the major causes of infants’ mortality, besides malaria and diarrhoea, was polio disease, which he said, was why the government put up a renewed strategy to immunise the children with the vaccine at each stage.
Also speaking, Dr Miapkwap said Plateau State took the lead on kick-starting the introduction and application of the IPV2 immunisation vaccine on infants in the country, to save them from the sting of poliomyelitis.
Represented by Mr Izang Yakubu-Dauda, PHCB Director of disease Control and Immunisation, the Executive Director, said, “it is not out of place that we key into the programme as it is being said that prevention is better than cure.”
He called on parents and guardians in the state to sensitise one another on the need for them to bring their children forward for the IPV2 vaccine.
“We want a society that is free of poliomyelitis disease which can lead to paralysis and inactive limbs.
“As a government, we don’t want to see our children or citizens grow up with defects on their bodies,“ Dr Miapkwap said.
He thanked the federal government and donor agencies such as the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for ensuring that the citizens of Plateau enjoyed healthy living.
Egbulefu Pays Medical Bills of 10 Persons With Eye Defects
By Okechukwu Keshi Ukegbu
A US-based pharmacist and philanthropist, Mr Victor Chinedu Egbulefu, has offered succour to at least 10 persons with different eye defects such as cataracts, glaucoma, among others.
Egbelefu, through his foundation, Victor Chinedu Egbulefu Foundation, is paying the medicals bills of the patients who have commenced the requisite medical examinations to determine their treatment plans.
The optometrist undertaking the examinations at the Embassy Hospital, Aba, Dr Michael Okpe, told newsmen that the examinations would determine their treatment plan.
Earlier, the foundation had offered scholarship awards to four indigent students to cover their secondary and undergraduate studies.
One of them is a 12-year-old Okechukwu Daniel Chidiebube, who was offered a scholarship for his secondary education; Nduaguibe Ugochukwu Kindness who was offered a scholarship to study Mass Communication at the Cross River State University, Eberechi Esther Chinonyerem who was offered a scholarship to study Medicine & Surgery at the University of Benin, and Blessing Chinelo Ayeke, who received a scholarship to study Pharmacy at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN).
Mr Egbulefu said that these gestures were prompted by his desire to give back to society and better the lots of the less-privileged, urging other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate him.
“I could have used these funds to build mansions or buy exotic cars. These are all about me but I seemed it necessary to better the lots of the less- privileged in the society,” he said.
It will be recalled that the foundation recently offered free medical services to persons with health challenges such as diabetes, high blood pressure.
Nigeria to Get 4.8 million Doses of Vaccines from US Today
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria will receive about 4.8 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines on Monday, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed.
The NPHCDA Executive Director/CEO, Mr Faisal Shuaib, in a memo in Abuja on Sunday, said the consignment is a donation from the United States of America government.
The expected shipment will be the largest of vaccines received since the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign started in March this year.
Nigeria has run out of COVID-19 vaccines after an initial 4 million doses of AstraZeneca received from the COVAX facility were utilized three weeks ago.
This is coming barely after Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) called for strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols in the conduct of all political events in the country.
In a communique issued last Friday, the PSC Chairman and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said the call followed recent confirmation of more cases of the Delta variant of the virus in several states and the continued rising number of infections and hospitalization across the country.
He warned all political parties, state governments, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) to avoid the spread of the virus amid political gatherings and ensure maximum public safety.
The latest data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that Nigeria recorded 407 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday as new infections continue to increase amid fears that the third wave of the pandemic has already hit the country.
The total number of cases in the country has risen to 174,315, with the new figure indicating a slight decrease from the 497 recorded a day earlier (Saturday).
The 407 new cases were recorded in 16 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with Lagos remaining the epicentre of the virus.
While the nation’s commercial capital recorded 160 cases, Akwa-Ibom State came second with 75 new cases while Ondo recorded 51 cases.
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