The Ministry of Health in Ogun on Monday unveiled a popular Nollywood actor, Odunlade Adekola, as its state Health Insurance Ambassador.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, unveiling Odunlade as the state Health Insurance Ambassador, said this was part of the state efforts to expand the insurance scheme across the state.
Coker said that the choice of the actor was borne out of his versatility and spontaneity to create awareness on the scheme.
He said that the wide reach and acceptance of the actor by both young and old would serve as “a catalyst to propagate the movement and acceptance of the scheme across the state”.
Coker said: “We will like to draw awareness for our health insurance acceptance in the communities.
”We looked up and down in Nigeria and inward in Ogun and our Ambassador cannot be anybody else than Mr Odunlade Adekola, because he is a son of the soil.
“He was born right here in Abeokuta and he’s a very familiar face on our screens and on radio.
“We want the public to engage in our health insurance process, hence, the choice of this multi-talented and influential brand Ambassador,” he said.
The commissioner, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Adekola, said that the state has registered 50,000 indigents in 196 primary healthcare centres in the state.
Coker said the indigents are those from the informal sector, who cannot afford out of pocket payment to access quality healthcare, hence, the need to raise awareness for more registration.
She said that the residents who registered, were expected to pay N12,000 annually to register for the insurance scheme, so as to access healthcare at any of the primary health centres in the state.
“A couple of weeks ago, the insurance law mandated that we, as citizens of Nigeria, must have health insurance.
“This means that we will have a sustainable way of financing our healthcare and no one will have to pay out of pocket to access healthcare.
“Of the 50,000 that registered, we have been able to employ 50 doctors, 40 midwives and about to employ 64 more doctors to ensure that when you visit a health centre, you’ll meet a doctor or skill health professional to attend to you,” she said.
Accepting the ambassadorial duty, Adekola said that as “health is wealth” such should not be taken with kid’s glove.
He promised to work hand in hand with the ministry to improve the state health sector.
The actor pledged to propagate the ideals of the health insurance scheme to reach the nooks and crannies of the state.
He appreciated the state government for choosing him as the ambassador of one of the most important sector in the country.