Connecting citizens with govt through smartcard
IT must have appeared daunting initially and many in Ondo State, pooh-poohed the idea, dismissing it as unworkable, impracticable.
But today, that dream has become a reality and the goal of drastically reducing maternal and child mortality to a level as low as obtains in developed countries is now realizable, thanks to an Automated Teller Machine-like card that contains a chip embedded in it.
Today in Ondo State, every hospital is home to a pregnant woman regardless of where she registered for ante-natal.
All she needs is the card, the Kaadi Igbe Ayo which contains all the necessary information and data of her medical history at a go.
But it did not just happen. It took good quality thinking and doggedness of the government of the state to take its healthcare delivery above mediocrity status as showcased during the unveiling of the Kaadi Igbe Ayo at the Ondo State Cultural Centre, Adegbemile last Thursday.
Chairman, Civic Data Centre, Tunde Yadeka, explained that Kaadi Igbe Ayo (KAI) is a dynamic, chip-based multi-purpose transaction card with about 93 applications, meant to serve as an interface between the state government and residents.
He said that it would help government in managing statistics of all basic features of residents as well as plan and deploy basic welfare and developmental projects to meet the needs of all segments of the state. He demonstrated the use of the card using five pregnant women whose blood samples were taken to determine their blood group, genotype and other details, while illustrating how information is imputed into the card.
The state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko took it from there, saying that: “Before, allergies and other things were put in their (pregnant women’s) case note, under this new dispensation, it is already imputed in the chip of the card. When the patient comes, there are questions that the doctor would ask. For example, oedema is swelling of the legs. If a pregnant woman has swelling of the legs, it indicates something to the doctor. We impute it there; they would test your urine and if there is protein in it, it is a danger signal. These are critical information that doctors look for on antenatal day. So, you don’t have to fill the information in a case note because this card, apart from carrying your data, is also your case note. It is data on the move, and that is the revolution about this.
“What that means is that if, for example, you attended clinic in Akure this month and you find yourself in Okitipupa next month, we don’t need to look for your file. This card is your file. All you need is your card: the health workers slot in your card and all your details come out. When all your data come out at the desk of the card attendant, immediately, that information is transmitted to the doctor’s computer. So, your information gets to the doctor before you, through wireless connection. And after the doctor has diagnosed and attended to you, the information is imputed into the card.”
Afenifere spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, while congratulating Mimiko, said:“ By giving us this model, in terms of having statistics for planning and development, I think Mimiko is taking a cue from the way Chief Obafemi Awolowo taught us how governance should be done. What distinguished Awolowo from his peers was that he had the guts, he had data, he knew the number of children that were of school age. Those are the things we don’t have today.”
Sola Ajayi, the representative of Globacom chairman, Mike Adenuga, pointed out that many states had made attempts to create a similar card but had not succeeded, adding that even at the federal level, the nation was still battling with the National ID Card. “It is with great pleasure that we at Globacom are part and parcel of the Abiye project, and we shall also be part of Kaadi Igbe Ayo,” he said.
Former Statistician General of the Federation, Professor Doyin Akinyosoye, lauded Mimiko’s vision for the state and his intelligence in making life easier for the people. He added: “I would like to canvass for making this project a national project through the National Economic Council. You are a trail blazer and I’m very proud of you,”
Also, an Afenifere chieftain, Dr Kunle Olajide, said he was more than proud to be part of the history making project. He commended the vision, thoughtfulness and diligence that went into producing the card for overall planning purposes in every sector. He noted: “The fact is that there is no government that can make a head way without having data.”
He supported Professor Akinyosoye’s admonition that the card should be replicated in every state across the country. “They should be made to come here and study what went into this—-the industry, the diligence—-and use it for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”
Speaking on behalf of the traditional rulers, HRM (Major-General) Olufemi Olutoye, the Alani Idoani, noted: “I told you four years ago that this young man that we have as our governor is going to be a trail blazer. Has he not proved to be one now? I told you that, whether they like it or not, we will send him to Abuja. It is now clear that no government in this country can succeed without planning, and this (Kaadi Igbe Ayo) is the key to it all.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo State, Segun Agbaje, said the day was a very important one in the history of Ondo State and Nigeria. He said: “I was particularly thrilled when the governor himself took the microphone to explain to us the uses of the card and the processes that went into it. And I think it is a very laudable project. Again, the fact that somebody can collect mosquito net and phone here, then go to Okitipupa to collect it at another place and the doctors would say ‘No, you have collected your own in Akure,’ means that this card is a very important tool to check those who are not straightforward.” He said INEC would synergize with the National Assembly to amend the law that doesn’t allow Nigerians to register somewhere and vote elsewhere.
Mimiko noted that the efficient management and sustainability of all the state government’s impactful socio-economic interventions depended invariably on development planning, especially against the backdrop of declining revenue not only in our state but Nigeria as a whole, adding that the administration was left with no option but to evolve home-grown social innovation and creativity to navigate the challenging fiscal atmosphere in the country.
He announced that the Ondo State Civic Data Centre (CDC) had already issued and distributed over 400,000 cards to the residents of the State. He noted that, henceforth, the card had become the entry visa into all state government social services from the Abiye Safe Motherhood programme, to the micro-credit and economic empowerment, highly-subsidized agric input and supplies, Free Education and sundry others.
“Kaadi Igbe-Ayo is a state-wide, dynamic, chip-based multipurpose transaction card that contains the basic bio-data as well as socio-economic data of holders and the state welfare package solutions and applications. It is a smartcard that serves as an interface between the state government and all residents. It is the instrument of access to all democratic dividends of the present administration.
“In clear terms, through Kaadi Igbe-Ayo subsidized Agro-inputs and buy-backs by Farmers could now be effectively monitored; ante-natal diagnosis could be stored and available at relevant healthcare delivery points; the basic healthcare data such as blood group, genotype, allergies and recent medical laboratory results will be stored; treatment materials can be collected; elderly persons and other disadvantaged groups will be able to access relevant benefits; Micro-credit beneficiaries will also be more effectively monitored to ensure equitable disbursement and efficient loan repayment. The tax payment status of residents will be keyed into the card for effective monitoring of Internally Generated Revenue. After a grace period of two months, up to August 2015, payment of tax will become a pre-requisite at every point of interfacing with services provided by the government.
“‘Kaadi Igbe-Ayo’ is a first for Nigeria in terms of smartcard deployment exclusively for Multipurpose Government Social Services Management. It seeks to be an improvement on similar smartcards in use across Europe and the Malaysia’s MyKad project. Kaadi Igbe-Ayo has been painstakingly designed, and sufficiently field-tested to overcome associated problems with smartcards world over.
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