Healthcare delivery vital to improving economic status of rural dwellers-Rep Chike Okafor

The member representing Ehime-Mbano/ Ihitte-Uboma/ Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, Rep. Chike Okafor has described the provision of health services as vital to improving the economic status of the citizenry.  

Speaking to journalists on the second day of the of the 5th edition of his annual health outreach programme for his constituency, Okafor emphasized that investments made into healthcare are crucial to speeding up and entrenching development at the grassroots.

He explained that he has prioritized healthcare delivery in the last six years as a member of the National Assembly through attracting the construction of Primary Healthcare Centres, introducing community health insurance in his constituency, as well as implementing health outreaches which has seen thousands of people benefitting from these interventions.

According to the lawmaker previous editions of his free medical outreach has recorded hundreds of success stories, as far reaching as secondary interventions like successful surgeries carried out on constituents identified during the outreach. 

Okafor expressed optimism that his interventions will contribute to the investments already being made by the Imo State government as part of Gov. Hope Uzodinmma’s 3Rs policy which recognized significant investment into the health sector as key to restoring  Imo on the path of development and economic growth.   

He said: “Development has been redefined especially the last decade and half. When the United Nations speaks development, be it the MDGs or the SDGs, you see healthcare at the core of its policy. This is why healthcare remains at the centre of the programmes and infrastructural projects I have attracted and initiated. A healthy populace is the foundation of any kind of progress a society hopes to make, hence my focus of solving the health challenges of the people and keeping them healthy.

“This (fifth) edition of my constituency health outreach will see more people benefiting from life changing surgeries they probably couldn’t afford or don’t know how to get these surgeries done. We have about 10,000 beneficiaries registered for the community health insurance under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), but the class of surgeries we are offering as part of this outreach aren’t covered under community health insurance”.

Okafor disclosed that he commenced the free enrolment of the people of Ehime-Mbano, Ihitte-Uboma, Obowo LGAs into the community health insurance programme under NHIS in 2020.

The community health insurance programme was flagged-off last year by the Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, alongside his Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku and witnessed by over 10 Federal House of Reps members, from across the country, who are members of the House Committee on Healthcare Services.

The programme which is to run from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th November 2021 will be executed simultaneously in nine National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) accredited hospitals, in the three LGAs which make up Okafor’s constituency.