By Yinka Adeniran, Ibadan
Traders, artisans, market leaders and members of the informal sector in Oyo state have indicated their readiness to adopt the Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme as a way of tapping into affordable healthcare in the state.
During a one-day sensitisation programme organized by the Oyo State Health Insurance Agency (OYSHIA) in collaboration with associations of market men and women in the state, the market leaders said, they are adopting the scheme as a way of encouraging their members across the state to spend less on maintaining their health in view of the difficulties associated with their trading activities.
The stakeholders meeting which held at the Western Hall, Oyo State House of Assembly Complex, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, had in attendance Market leaders council including, the Babaloja General of Oyo State, Asiwaju Yekinni Oladapo; President, Canteen Workers Association, Mrs Amudalat Iyaduuni Lawal and President, Tradesmen and Artisan Association, Mr Yisau Hamzat.
Others are, President, Oyo State Association of Traders in Nigeria, Mrs Stella Olabode; President, Ibadan Joint Traders Association, Mr Dauda Oladepo; President, Joint Traders of Oyo State, Mrs Labake Lawal and State President, Nigeria Youth Traders Action International, Mr Najimudeen Azees among others.
Setting the tone for the commitment, the head of the market leaders in Oyo State, the Babaloja-General, Yekini Abass, assured the government of the support of market men and women in the State noting that the issue of health is important and must be taken with utmost seriousness.
Other speakers in their various remarks explained that many traders engaged in many strenuous efforts which in the long run tell on their health but would only take it seriously when they breakdown and unable to go out.
The leaders who commended OYSHIA for enlightening them on the numerous benefits accruable in the scheme with little fund pledged their commitment and support for the scheme, promising to encourage their members to buy into and register for the health insurance scheme.
Speaking on the reason behind the initiative, the Executive Secretary (ES), OYSHIA, Dr Sola Akande, it is imperative for the market men and women in the State to inculcate themselves into the scheme in order to live a healthy life, in accordance with the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration’s health plan for the citizens of the State.
He said the responsibility of the Agency is to begin to bring various associations and groups on board the scheme, which he described as “community enrolment”.
Dr Akande said, “You can see that the newly sworn-in Chairman, the Babaloja-General of the market associations is in attendance that shows the commitment, all the leaders are on board. So, it’s a symbolic marking of the fact that we are bringing all market associations in Oyo State into the Oyo State Health Insurance Scheme.
“It is quite significant that the traders were not only enlightened about the scheme, but they also mobilised and encouraged themselves to enroll into the scheme, an action which is highly encouraging for the Agency.”
He disclosed that the Agency would move from town to town to meet various associations, create more awareness among community dwellers and encourage them with a unique idea for them to get agents, among themselves, which would become a sort of business for them, as they would be given commission over every enrollee brought into the scheme by them.