C’river to deploy drones in supply of healthcare materials

Godwin Iyala

The Cross River Health Insurance Agency plans to use drones to deliver health materials to rural areas, Godwin Iyala, the director-general of the agency said on Monday.

The scheme, according to Iyala, will kick off on March 9 from Calabar and move to other parts of the state.

“Governor Ben Ayade has also approved March 9 as the flag-off date of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) enrolment into the Health Insurance Scheme.

“Our international partners will provide drones that will make for effective delivery of medical materials to the rural areas, given the state’s unique, but difficult terrain,’’ he said.

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Iyala added that packages to be delivered by the drones would include items for the treatment of basic ailments, caesarean sections for expectant mothers, and tuberculosis, leprosy and cancer drugs and medicaments.

He said that those who enrol in the BHCPF would be expected to pay N1,000 monthly amounting to N12, 000 per annum.

The DG outlined the benefits of the scheme to include “the pooling of resources for cross-subsidisation of health costs where those in the high-income bracket subsidise those in the low-income bracket’’.

He noted that with plans already put in place, the state was on the path of achieving universal health coverage for its citizens just as he urged all residents of the state to enrol in the scheme.

The flag-off of the scheme, earlier scheduled for April 7, 2020, was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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