Sterling One Foundation partners with the Lagos State government to launch the Eko Social Health Alliance (EKOSHA), an initiative created to mobilize funds towards helping identified vulnerable groups in Lagos access health insurance leveraging ILERA EKO social health plan. It is an offshoot of the state government’s plan to achieve universal health coverage.
According to Akin Abayomi, the Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) took the initiative to commence the implementation of its resource mobilization function as provided in Section 20 of the LSHS Law 2015 by establishing the Eko Social Health Alliance (EKOSHA) to complement the government’s efforts.
Abayomi, who was represented by Funmi Shokunbi, Director, Medical Administration and Training, at the media launch of EKOSHA, stated that the governor approved one percent of the state’s consolidated revenue fund (CRF) as equity fund for vulnerable coverage. Over 230,000 residents who fall under this group currently enjoy free health care on the scheme at no cost to them.
“Since the commencement of access to care for the vulnerable on the ILERA EKO Social Health Plan in 2020, a total of 750 Million Naira has been disbursed as equity fund in addition to the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF), and sponsorships from a few individuals/organisations; to provide health insurance for the vulnerable residents of the state.
“These groups of people are spread across the 57 LGA/LCDAs of the state, including members of elderly and orphanage homes; vulnerable persons living with HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Sickle cell Anaemia, also victims of domestic and sexual violence,” said Abayomi.
Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), highlighted that the agency leverages its Rapid Poverty Assessment Tool, in determining the vulnerability of beneficiaries.
“To ensure that equal opportunity is given to those who cannot afford to pay ILERA EKO premium and in line with Section 20 of the LSHS Law, which indicates that the agency should ensure the availability of alternative sources of funding to the health sector for improved services”.
She also revealed that Sterling One Foundation supported the agency to create a funding platform which serves as one of the accountability measures where donors can see in real-time the resources mobilized for the vulnerable.
Olapeju Ibekwe, CEO of Sterling One Foundation commended the Lagos State government on its partnership to create a crowdfunding solution which will enable people to donate from across the globe to the initiative, including Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.
“Health is one of the thematic areas of Sterling One Foundation and we are proud to partner with Lagos State government to support the vulnerable and ensure that every resident of the state irrespective of their socio-economic status has access to quality and affordable healthcare.” She added that the Foundation has prioritized partnerships for impact and will continue in this light across both the private and public sectors to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.