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By Chisom Okafor  :

The Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA), has inaugurated a Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising of key stakeholders on health to plan and develop a Strategic Health Development Plan that will last from 2024 to 2029. 

 The two day workshop took place at IDK learning Centre in Awka. 

Declaring the event open, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike explained the importance of the TWG to think through on how to expand the health insurance coverage of the state particularly the informal sector and how to implement the mandatoriness of the scheme through innovative strategies of businesses providing evidence of health insurance certification before they can operate. 

Dr. Obidike applauded the MD/CEO of ASHIA for representing the health insurance agency in Anambra and nationwide. 

On his part, the Chairman, Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Health, Mr Tony Muobike, spoke on success achieved with a predetermined plan (SHDP) and a strong legislative framework as the bedrock of every project. 

He gave his support by promising necessary legislation with the House of Assembly or draft new legislations that will be passed in the House of assembly. 

Giving an overview of the workshop, the Managing Director of ASHIA, Dr. Simeon Onyemaechi said that the plan will look carefully at how the agency will strategically increase their coverage to enroll more into the scheme, the practical steps they need to take to achieve their objectives. 

Dr. Onyemaechi noted that because the staff of the agency are integral part of the stakeholders developing the plan, they will have an institutionalize memory of the document even when he must have exited the position in the future, expressing optimism that his would be successor will continue with the plan. 

According to the ASHIA MD, the plan will equally bring out the practical steps they need to take on month-to-month and year -to-year bases, how to source the resources they will leverage on among others, describing the document as timely. 

The event attracted relevant stakeholders, representatives of the National Health Insurance Agency, WHO, Anambra State Ministry of Agriculture, State Bureau of Statistics, Research Consultants, Ward Chairmen, Civil Society Organizations, others. 

 *Chisom is of the Ministry of Information, Anambra State.


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