Dr. Fabong Yildam, Director-General of the Plateau State Contributory HealthCare Management Agency, said no child would be enrolled in Plateau State schools without evidence of enrolment into the state’s Social Health Insurance Scheme.
Yildam stated this on Friday in Jos at a sensitisation and town hall meeting on the state’s social health insurance scheme, organised by the agency for the private sector and the informal sector.
He said registration of a child above five years was mandatory, and that the directive would be enforced using the health card as a criterion for the enrolment process.
He said the organisation had paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board in preparation for full implementation of the directive.
The director-general said children under five years were among the vulnerable group in the equity plans.
Others included pregnant women, Internally Displaced Persons, People With Disabilities and People with mental disability, excluding those who engage in substance abuse.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the scheme has four plans, comprising equity, formal sector, informal sector and private sector
Yildam said: “It is expected that after five years of age, these children are in school and with the collaboration of SUBEB here in Plateau, no child will be enrolled into any school without presenting our card (Health insurance).
“If that child is covered under his parents, then we will have to have a photocopy of his father’s identify card and follow through the facility, which that child accesses health care, without which no child will be enrolled into school
“But we are giving a window of two years starting from September 15, 2019 to 2021, and from September 16, 2021, every child that is below five years of age must have a card that is duly registered with us before being taken in to school.”
He said the directive covered both children in the private or public schools, adding that the enrollment of all Plateau residents would be in clusters, either in association, groups or in communities.
Yildam explained that it was easier to manage enrollment in clusters, which gave a sense of inclusiveness, saying individuals not belonging to such groups could register through the private sector.
He said enrollees had the right to choose their facility, adding that the agency had a list of accredited health providers that had met the minimum criteria of the agency
The PLASCHEMA boss said enrollment of the scheme, which was officially launched in September by Governor Simon Lalong, was ongoing, and that advocacy was continuous and critical for people to get enlightened on the scheme, hence the need for the town hall meetings.
He said enrollees had a waiting period of 30 days to 45 days before they would start accessing the insurance services.
He explained that a special system had been developed using customised tablets and hand held devices to work, where there was internet or no internet services.
Yildam said: “The target of the insurance scheme is to reach 20 per cent of the entire population in Plateau through advocacy in three months.
“To enroll the vulnerable starting with 325 Primary Health Centres.”