The newly appointed Executive Secretary of the Nasarawa State Health Insurance Agency (NASHIA), Dr. Yahaya Bawa Ubam, has said one of his main concerns coming into his new office is to change the attitude of the citizens of Nasarawa State towards their health.
Speaking to a team of journalists who were at the NASHIA headquarters in Lafia on Thursday (November 9, 2023), Dr. Yahaya Ubam said even before his appointment, he had good knowledge about the challenges in the health sector especially as it concerns insurance and that he was eager to work with all the stakeholders to tackle such challenges.
He said: “I am barely about two weeks and some days in this office and before I was appointed, I knew what I was coming to do having worked in the medical field for about 35 years. I know most of the challenges of people when it comes to health.
“Health, unlike the others, nobody budgets for it. People will budget for school fees, people will budget because they want to travel but nobody budgets for ‘if today I fall sick, what happens?’ and we have to change this attitude. Because I always believe without health, you cannot do anything. It is only when you are healthy that you can pursue other activities of life. Therefore, we must provide for health so that when it comes, we wouldn’t say ‘had I known’ because you have already made provision for it.”
Dr. Yahaya Bawa Ubam also commended the Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule for buying into the idea of universal health coverage for citizens of the State and giving all the necessary support to NASHIA to provide health insurance for the State.
He also spoke on the work done by his predecessors in the agency saying: “I am happy to say that since this agency was created, they have a focus which is within five years – from 2022 to 2027 – 20 percent of Nasarawa State population are covered. And I am proud to say that my predecessor and the team he worked with, have started on a good footing because the population of Nasarawa State is 2.8 million and out target is that by 2027, we should have enrolled about 500,000. From the records we have, about 218,000 persons have registered with the agency.”
Dr. Yahaya Bawa Ubam promised to sustain the tempo and called on the media to continue supporting the agency by spreading relevant information about the work the agency is doing it can meet its target of enrolling up to 20 percent of the population of Nasarawa State by 2027.
The NASHIA boss then called on citizens of Nasarawa State to endeavor to report any case of poor service delivery at any registered health facility as it was their right to obtain quality services as clients of the insurance agency.