Anambra State Governor Willie Obiano has said a new health scheme is underway in the state that entails the rich offsetting part of the medical bills of the poor including prisoners.
"Under the scheme, prisoners will not have to pay for their hospital bills," Governor Obiano announced during a pontifical High Mass to mark the 62nd birthday of the Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev Valerian Okeke at the Onitsha Prisons.
Addressing the inmates and dignitaries who joined the Archbishop for Mass at the prisons, Governor Obiano said that his government is aware of the health challenges facing the prisoners and is making frantic efforts to ameliorate them while presenting drugs, toiletries, bottled water and a cash donation of 400 thousand naira to the inmates.
The new State Health Insurance Scheme is being organized to pool workers' funds together, to enable
the government take care of the health needs of those who need medical care but cannot afford it.
As expected, many people in the state who were unable to take advantage of the National Health Insurance Scheme are thrilled by the idea.
Most Rev Okeke promised to give the inmates a live cow in addition to bags of rice. He brought with him cooked rice, toiletries, and biscuits among other items for the celebration, and later toured the cells with governor Obiano which he explained the Archdiocese had tiled and fixed ceiling fans and sunk boreholes to supply water to all the cells.
Also in his vote of thanks, the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese Most Rev Dennis Isiuzo regretted that the inmates are mostly young and thanked the governor for not only arranging for the Skills acquisition training and re-integration of the 25 inmates he granted amnesty but also the promise to give them one million Naira each to start life anew. Most rev Isiuzo said a good state is measured by how the poor and down trodden are treated for which Anambra is rated high.