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HEALTH SCHEME: LAGOS ADOPTS TECHNOLOGY TO AID EASY ACCESS FOR RESIDENTS

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Ahead of the soon to be launched mandatory Lagos State Health Scheme (LSHS), the State Government on Monday said it would adopt a technology based application that would go a long way to ensure easy access of the scheme by residents especially for underprivileged households.

 

The LSHS is a state-wide health insurance initiative targeted to ensure that all residents of the state have access to quality, affordable health care services. The scheme covers treatment of common adult and childhood ailments, maternal and child services, preventive healthcare services, selected non-communicable diseases and surgeries.

 

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris in a statement, said the technology, ‘CarePay’ ICT platform is a mobile solution for scheme administration which serves as a digital health exchange that would connect the three important stakeholders in Healthcare: payers, healthcare providers and the users or beneficiaries.

 

He expressed optimism that the CarePay platform “will guarantee ownership of all data generated and ensure that these data can be used to make informed decisions”.

 

He said one of the objectives was to demonstrate how digital mobile solutions can be utilized to improve decision-making and transparency, reduce transaction costs, and increase access especially for poor households.

 

Idris said in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health, PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving access to healthcare in Africa through technology and mobile innovations, implemented the proof of concept mirroring the LSHS benefit package, provider payment mechanisms and the interaction between patients and providers.

 

He said the proof of concept has 153 families (659 enrollees) in two facilities (one private provider and one public provider) in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.

 

Idris said: “Having run for a period of twelve months, the pilot witnessed the 659 beneficiaries, whose premium was paid for by PharmAccess Nigeria, received access to free healthcare for the duration of the pilot.

 

“The results of this pilot show that the scheme is doable and is a step in the right direction towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the residents of Lagos State.”

 

According to the General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency, Dr Peju Adenusi, the scheme is a mandatory pre-paid health plan for all residents, adding that the LSHS aims to as achieve universal coverage and provide financial protection against catastrophic health care spending. “A healthy population is a productive population,” Adenusi added.

 

On her part, Country Director of PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, Mrs Njide Ndili, the proof of concept which started in September, 2017 was implemented to demonstrate how the scheme can improve the lives of the most vulnerable population at scale, using the mobile phone and light technology.

 

She explained that prior to commencement of the proof of concept, field agents visited communities around two selected hospitals – Igando General Hospital and Subol Hospital to recruit eligible beneficiaries who will then be enrolled into the pilot.

 

“The Poverty Probability Index identification tool was administered to identify those eligible for the pilot programme and one of those found eligible was Mrs Morenikeji (surname withheld), who hitherto was in a fix after she found out she was pregnant”.

 

 “The 35 year-old was worried over the financial implications the pregnancy would tax on them, given that she has suffered from complications from previous pregnancies. Her worries were rested by the LSHS benefit package which includes pregnancy, normal delivery, caesarean section and post-natal care at Igando General Hospital”, Ndili said.

 

She added that Morenikeji is one of many success stories from the pilot noting that she had a caesarian section in which she was delivered of a healthy baby boy.

 

According to the Health Plans Program Officer, PharmAccess Foundation Nigeria, Yemisi Khalidson, the pilot was administered using the CarePay ICT platform, which he said would ensure seamless implementation of the scheme on takeoff.

 

He said: “The platform can manage various types of healthcare payments and healthcare benefits from different programs, and present these payments and benefits to the beneficiaries on their mobile phone in a clear and user friendly way. For each hospital visit, the treatment data is submitted electronically by the healthcare provider and after approval by a medical claims assessor, the funds are moved digitally to the healthcare provider.”

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American Ambassador To Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard Reveal Condition For Visa Ban Review

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Visa Restriction

Mary Beth Leonard, the American ambassador to Nigeria has revealed the condition for reviewing the visa restriction imposed on Nigeria.

Leonard revealed this on Tuesday, February 17, after meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige in Abuja.

The ambassador noted that the US wants Nigeria to sort out problems with information sharing.

“I need to clarify something for you here. The immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States. It does not cancel the status of anyone who currently lives in the United States.

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“What Secretary Pompey said was that it was meant to be temporary. And it is about problems with information sharing which are investigable, achievable and resolvable and we look forward to Nigeria in a very short time being able to meet those information-sharing goals so that the decision can be reviewed.”

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Recall that the United States President, Donald Trump added Nigeria and six others to a new list of countries on America’s visa restriction.

According to the report, Nigerians would not be barred from entering the country but would not be issued with certain types of visas.

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SANWO-OLU BIDS JUSTICE BULKACHUWA FAREWELL, AS APPEAL COURT PRESIDENT RETIRES

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Appeal Court

…Lagos’ll Always Keep Faith In The Rule Of Law, Says Governor

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his administration will not deviate from the tenet of constitutional democracy, promising that actions of the State Government under his watch will be kept within the ambit of the law.

He said his Government’s faith in the judicial system remained unshakable, adding that Lagos had been a beneficiary of the rule of law.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday while receiving the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, on a courtesy visit at the Lagos House in Marina.

Justice Bulkachuwa, who was accompanied by other Justices of the Appeal Court, is retiring from the service after reaching the mandatory retirement period.

The Governor said Lagos would always stand on the good side of the law, adding that his administration would particularly stand in principle against actions that may undermine the independence of the Court.

He said: “Government in Lagos State is committed to ensuring that we all live within the ambit of the law. We will continue to engage the judiciary as an independent arm of the government. All of us in the executive arm will continue to uphold the tenet of the constitution that we swore to in our ways and deeds. We will not run foul of the law or any pronouncement of the Court.”

Sanwo-Olu saluted the outgoing Justice Bulkachuwa for her courage in driving far-reaching reforms in the Court of Appeal, saying her legacies would strengthen administration of justice across the country. The Governor said her legacies would be a guiding light for members of the judiciary and officers in the other arms of government.

The Governor said: “We are happy that you are proceeding to retirement at this prime age. You are now 70 years old but you are looking like a 50-year-old. Glory be to Almighty Allah for the grace of youthful appearance and energy. You have had a wonderful career in the judiciary.

“The several successes you have recorded during your tenure as President of the Court of Appeal will continue to be the legacy we will uphold in remembrance of your service to the nation. You are the oldest serving President of the Court of Appeal and you brought many reforms and laudable initiatives to strengthen the judicial process.

“Whoever is succeeding you will have enough to draw from your legacies. We hope you keep your doors open not only to the judiciary but also all of us who are looking forward to learn from your leadership skills.”

Justice Bulkachuwa said she would dedicate her retirement life to promoting girl-child education across the country, noting that she would not have achieved her potential had her father not given her a chance to go to school.

She was hopeful that the reforms and discipline she had instituted in the judiciary would be strengthened by the serving members, pointing out that she had mentored a new breed of judicial officers to entrench “good legacies” she is leaving behind.

“I will still be with my sisters and brother in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and High Courts. I have mentored so many young judicial officers and upcoming lawyers to carry on the legacies. I will still be part of the judicial system despite my retirement,” Justice Bulkachuwa said.

Asked why she chose to visit Lagos Governor in her first valedictory visit to any elected official, Justice Bulkachuwa said it was in Lagos the first Court of Appeal was set up among the three divisions created in 1976.

Besides, she said Lagos is playing pivotal roles in the administration of justice system, pointing out that majority of lawyers in the judiciary are serving in the State. She added that most of Appeal Court’s cases were being instituted in Lagos.

 

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FRSC Blames Low Literacy For High Rates Of Road Crashes

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Literacy

 

The Kastina State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ali Tanimu, has blamed the low level of literacy for the high rate of road crashes on highways.

Tanimu stated this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, February 18.

Speaking in Katsina, he said that most drivers do not understand the Highway Code.

His word: ‘’They either don’t buy them or they do not care to read and understand it. Most of the crashes are avoidable if the motorists will abide by the laid down traffic rules and regulations,’’ he said.

‘’Due to the nature of our roads, some drivers overtake on a bridge, sharp bends or hilly areas where they cannot see far distance. ‘’In most cases, what will happen is either the vehicle will jump into the bridge or it will have a head-on collision with another vehicle,’’ he said.

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The sector commander further said that making phone calls while driving also contributes to high rates of accidents on highways.

‘’Some of the drivers even went to the extent of checking or writing SMS text messages while driving, and the worst part of it, is that the passengers will just keep quiet,’’ he said

According to the sector commander, some drivers mix and overloads human beings with animals or goods, and drive at high speed. According to him, in such circumstances, when there is an accident, it will be fatal. He thus advised drivers not exceed 100-speed limits for the safety of passengers.

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‘’If you want to travel far, you should have to start the journey in good time to avoid overspending.”

The sector commander further urged motorists to ensure that their vehicles have good headlamps if they want to travel in the night; good tyres and no mechanical fault, explaining that all those are contained in the code, as such drivers should endeavour to study it.

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