Gov Ajimobi scores self high on health – here we go again
In what could be described as a self pat on the back, the governor of Oyo state, Abiola Ajimobi, has suggested that his administration has “enhanced the wellness of the people of the state.”
Here we go again with politicians making sweeping comments on health.
Speaking at a ceremony to kick start the distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets across the state at the Government House Arcade, Agodi, Ibadan, last week, Governor Ajimobi spoke glowingly of the health insurance bill passed by the House of Assembly and the fight against malaria in Oyo state.
Health insurance bill
The governor described it as a veritable tool for universal health coverage for residents of the state, especially to cater for the rural populace.
“The government has conducted the realignment of the health care service delivery in the state. Earlier this week, the State House of Assembly passed the bill for the establishment of the State Health Insurance Scheme. This is a tool the government will utilize to ensure universal health coverage for residents of the Oyo State. Equally, the State Primary Health Care Law will soon be promulgated for further coverage of the grassroots in healthcare delivery,” he said.
My concerns – My major concern about the health insurance bill is its copy copy bandwagon nature. Several Nigerian states had signed health insurance bills into law with the one in Cross Rivers state being the one that really caught my attention because of its rip off of Obamacare nomenclature. It is not an entirely bad thing for Oyo reps to copy what is being done elsewhere – as a matter of fact it is something I encourage. However, we have to put the peculiar nature of the state and its people into consideration. A well localised health insurance policy is what the state really needs and not a copied and pasted law that will do nobody no good. I’m also curious to know about the financing of the bill – who will pay for it and how will the government ensure that people are not cheated nor funds swindled or stolen which I strongly believe would be a major reason why it may not be popular among citizens. My biggest concern, perhaps, would be the law’s interfacing with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). I’m sure we have not yet heard the last word on the law just yet.
Concerning the governor’s perspective on malaria, I think I’ve thoroughly covered that in an earlier post which you can check out by clicking here. At the event, the governor said his government has played critical roles ‘in minimizing the scourge of malaria, as underscored by the reduction in the incidence of malaria by 45 per cent when compared with the 2012 figures’. He noted that they were able to achieve this through regular mass distribution of insecticidal nets which, by the way, I’m yet to get.
“I believe that we are winning the battle as the incidence of malaria has now reduced by 45 per cent when compared with the incidence of year 2012.” – Ajimobi
Dear governor, that is not how medical indices work. Statistics and data abound and anyone can get any type of data he or she wants – whether high or low – which is why I always kick against making sweeping statements on health since the data set used for the conclusion could be extensively argued. Instead, I often recommend ensuring that all potential sources of infection are blocked and all preventive measures are rolled out. Whether the government likes it or not, malaria reservoirs abound in Oyo state and as long as they are there, malaria nets cannot do much since people don’t wear them to work nor children to school.
PS: This piece doesn’t suggest the governor and his government are not doing enough; it’s just an eyeopener to numerous things that should be done.