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The Lagos State Government in its determination to ensure that all the residents in the State, irrespective of their socio-cultural and economic difference, have access to affordable, equitable and quality healthcare, has granted free healthcare to 15 people living with disability.

The Special Adviser, Office of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, announcing the good gesture to the winners of the free ILERA EKO Health plan during the continuation of the grassroots sensitisation programme held at Ikorodu Local Government Area, said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is passionate that every resident lives a healthy life.

She said, “All around the world, health remains on the priority list of every government at all levels, therefore, Lagos State cannot be an exception”.

Princess Adebowale added that this has prompted the State Government to embark on the building and renewal of health facilities in the State as well as the continuous initiation and promotion of various intervention programmes, which include the Lagos State Health Insurance plan also known as ILERA EkO.

In her words: “Health insurance is a way of paying for medical bills and health costs. But it is a known fact that most people cannot pay for all their healthcare out-of-pocket. Health insurance is, therefore, the only way to make it easier to pay health bills and help everyone get the care needed. This is the practice in the advanced and developed world today”.

The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, explaining the benefits of ILERA EKO, said that the health plan covers about 80 per cent of health issues that Lagos residents go to the hospitals for.

Dr. Zamba said that enrollees on the scheme will enjoy benefit packages such as outpatient care for common ailments and conditions, eye care, dental care, 15 days admission in a year, laboratory test, health promotion and diseases prevention, X-Ray (chest and limb) and management of uncomplicated chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma including the needed drugs.

She added that minor surgeries such as appendectomy, herniorrhaphy, herniotomy, application of POP, incision drainage as well as major surgeries such as emergency salpingectomy amongst others are also enjoyed on the scheme.

The General Manager said that ILERA EKO was initiated by the State Government in order to reduce out-of-pocket payment of huge medical bills, financial impoverishment as well as give peace of mind to the people.

Dr. Zamba averred that with N8,500 annually, an individual can enjoy ILERA EKO benefit package while with N40,000 annually, a family of six consisting of the father, mother and four children below 18 years can also enjoy the health plan, adding that the State Government, realising the economic hardship in the country, has allowed residents to enjoy ILERA EKO by paying in instalments with the ILERA EKO “Pay Small Small” initiative.

She, therefore, appealed to the residents of Ikorodu to support the State Government in realising its Universal Health Coverage (UHC) policy by enrolling on ILERA EKO.

The Executive Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government Area, Mr. Wasiu Ayodeji Adeshina, in his remarks, commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for taking the health of the people as a priority, noting that many residents could not afford to pay their medical bills whenever they have any medical challenge.

He said that ILERA EKO is a programme worthy of emulation, as such, the Local Government will support the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), through the enrollment of 20 people in the community.

Adeshina called on all residents, especially in Ikorodu Division, to enrol on the health plan, stressing that “Health is Wealth”.

Testimonials on ILERA EKO at the event were made by the representative of His Royal Majesty, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu and Baale Ojogbe, Chief Olukayode Olomo; Iyaloja General of Ikorodu, Alhaja Taofikat Allison; former Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government Area, Mr. Junaid Owokodu; Mrs. Toyin Oshinkoya and Mr. Abayomi Tijani-Yofunmi, among others.

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