From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government has launched a free hypertension and diabetes treatment for all its citizens who are 70 years and above.
The state governor, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El Rufai disclosed this during the flag off of the programme in Kaduna yesterday.
The scheme known as Cash Cover Programme was in collaboration with Servier Pharmaceutical Industry and Micro-ensure
The governor said the state will offer free medications and pay the bills of those who could no longer foot the medical bills as a result of retirement or otherwise.
El Rufai represented by the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Andrew NoK said his administration has earmarked at least 200 thousand Naira per annum for each beneficiary of the initiative, just to ensure that medical expenses never becomes a problem to them.
“The government is keeping its promise to assist those above 70 years on medical ground in the state, and has carefully selected 2 diseases such as diabetes and hypertension , which are most common silent killer diseases of people.”
Meanwhile, the Middle East Manager of Servier Pharmaceutical Industry based in France, Mr Ayo Dominic said that in addition to partnering with Kaduna state in ensuring that the septuagenarians get quality and free medication, his organization will commence the training of over 200 medical doctors on modern ways of managing diabetes and hypertension, before the end of this month.
Dominic observed that despite the coming of Servier International into Nigeria , at the time of recession when other foreign industries were folding up, “Nigeria is an emerging market , and the government is trying, but private investors need to come in to bridge the gap in ensuring that high quality medications are available and accessible to low income earners.”
He called on the state government to sustain the Hospital Cash Cover Progamme , adding that apart from the expensive drugs made available at cheaper rate to Kaduna state government such as Diamicron 30mg and 60mg MR for diabetes, Natrilix 1.5 mg , Coveram 10 mg and among others for hypertension, “ our organization will device a means for patients to be receiving digital information on their phones regularly , to remind them of their medication time.’