Gombe enrols 40,000 vulnerable persons in healthcare scheme


The Gombe government says it has enrolled 40,000 vulnerable persons in healthcare scheme to enhance quality healthcare service delivery at the grassroots.

The enrollees had registered under the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund between 2021 to date.

The Team Lead, Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency (GoHealth), Dr Abubakar Musa stated this while responding to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on social safety net programme.

According to him, the healthcare programme is being implemented in collaboration between the state and the Federal Government.

He said the enrolees comprised people above 65 years, children under the age of five, pregnant women, People Living with Disabilities (PWDs), and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Musa said the beneficiaries were drawn across the 114 wards of the state, to enable them to enjoy free quality healthcare services.

He said the beneficiaries are expected to provide National Identity Card Number (NIN) and meet other specified guidelines to ensure that they were within the target population.

Also, Ibrahim Yusuf, Chairman, Advocacy Centre for Development, a non-governmental organisation in Gombe, advocated for allocation of houses to senior citizens in the state.

“We are call on the government to allocate some houses for the senior citizens out of the six housing estates in Gombe metropolis”.

He said there was the need for government to prioritise the needs of senior citizens in terms of security, psycho social support, among others.

“The senior citizens served their fatherland in various capacities with nothing to show, hence the need to consider them.

“It is good for government to provide their benefit before exiting the service.

“It is also desirable to establish a recreational centre for the senior citizens where they will be meeting with pears to ease their difficulties and other problems associated with old age,” he said.

Similarly, the Bauchi State Health Contributory Management Agency (BASHCMA), says it has enrolled senior citizens under its free healthcare scheme.

The Chairman of the agency, Dr Mansur Dada said the beneficiaries were enrolled across the 20 local government areas of the state.

He said that some of the beneficiaries had been captured under the basic health provision fund while others under the informal sector of the scheme.

According to him, healthcare services providers are offering primary and secondary Medicare services to enhance quality service delivery at the grassroots.

However, Mustapha Yakubu, the Jigawa Coordinator, National Senior Citizens Centre (NSCC), said the health component of the social safety net for the aged was yet to begin implementation in the state.

Yakubu, who is also the Training and Communication Officer, State Cash Transfer Unit (SCTU) of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), said that N20,000 grant would be provided to senior citizens in the state.

“The programme was launched in Niger state sometimes in 2022.

“The work plan which is yet to be implemented, the senior citizens are expected to be link up with the Social Security Programme grant and aid.

“The senior citizens are yet to be informed about their possibility to join NHIS or the Jigawa State Contributory Health Insurance Management Agency (JICIMA).

“Even though the programme started in October 2022, we hope that good things will come to the senior citizens when it is fully implemented,” Yakubu said.

On empowerment, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has trained seven senior citizens on entrepreneurship development in the state.

NDE Coordinator in Jigawa, Mr Miwa Lasco said the training exercise was being implemented in collaboration with the NSCC.

He said the beneficiaries comprising five males and two females received training in weaving, carpentry, leather work, blacksmith, clay pot and basket making.