Widows to benefit from Rural Health Insurance Scheme in Enugu
No fewer than 2,000 widows in Nenwe community of Enugu State are to benefit from the Rural Health Insurance Scheme, sponsored by Jonalfa Hope International Foundation.
The founder of the foundation, retired Air Vice-Marshal Chris Chukwu, announced this on Thursday in Nenwe during the inauguration of Nenwe Health Scheme.
Chukwu, an indigene of the community, noted that the gesture was to bring succour to the widows, whom he said are suffering untold hardship.
He said that Nenwe with 27 villages have over 3,000 widows.
“We embarked on a re-verification exercise to have an authentic data of widows in the community and the actual numbers we will be sponsoring.
“At the end of the exercise, 2,000 widows were captured and we are making a commitment to sponsor them in 2016, and beyond as our finances can go, “ he said.
Chukwu said that the foundation had deposited N2.5 million out of N7.2 million required for the scheme annually.
He appealed to the managers of the scheme to review downward the registration fees for beneficiaries to enable more people to participate.
“The registration fee of a beneficiary per annum is much and we urge the managers to take another look at it.
“We have already deposited N2.5 million in the accounts of Nenwe Community Mutual Health Association to ensure we started on a solid footing,’’ he said.
Chukwu said that the foundation was also compiling a comprehensive data of all orphans of primary school age in the community with a view to training them.
“Our mission is to bring succour to the less privileged and other vulnerable groups; our vision is towards a society free from the tears of poverty,’’ Chukwu said.
In an address, Mrs Akunna Ochor, Enugu State Coordinator, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), commended the people of Nenwe for embracing the scheme.
Ochor said that the community was the first in the South-East to embrace the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme.
She said that it had been a tortuous journey to formalise the agreement between the managers and the community, remarking that all processes had been concluded.
The coordinator expressed regret that most people in the rural communities are yet to appreciate the importance of the scheme, which she said would help them live a healthy life.
Ochor, who appealed to the people to embrace the scheme, said that there are several incentives in the scheme.
“Any community that gets about 1,000 beneficiaries, government will intervene and assist pregnant women and children below five years in such communities free of charge,“ she said.
Ochor urged the sponsors of the scheme to ensure its sustainability so as to reduce incidences of untimely deaths in the community.
Mrs Elizabeth Ugwueke, one of the widows, praised the sponsor for the initiative.
“You have wiped our tears and we will remain grateful to you for this intervention,’’ she said.