One of the important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is the need to strengthen health systems to ensure improved financing and delivery of health care and tackle epidemics.
Lagos State is the most populous state in Nigeria, with about 24 million people and an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent. Lagos, the financial and economic center of the country, attracts an influx of people from other Nigerian regions as well as from sub-Saharan Africa. To help achieve Universal Health Coverage the state Government has launched a mandatory state health insurance scheme since December 2018.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lagos State Government decided to expand the health insurance scheme among all segments of the population. In June 2020, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved the payment of 75 percent of the annual family insurance premium for public servants, their spouses and a maximum of four children below 18 years old The State has also allocated the sum of N350 Million ($752,688.17) to fully subsidize premiums for indigents.
The General Manager, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), Dr. Emmanuella Zamba, said that with the take-off of the Lagos State Health Scheme recently dubbed “Ilera Eko”, inhabitants of Lagos will have access to medical care in any of their chosen public and private healthcare facilities participating in the Scheme.
She explained that enrollees on the Scheme will enjoy benefits which include consultation, treatment of common ailments such as malaria, hypertension, diabetes, family planning services, dental care, ultrasound scan, radiological investigations, child welfare services, care of childhood illnesses, neonatal services, gynecological prenatal care and delivery.