The Federal Government says it has enrolled 500 Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) into the 8 National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to enhance access to quality healthcare services.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Dr Sani Gwarzo, stated this at a symbolic presentation of the NHIS Identity Cards to the beneficiaries, on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the move will ensure affordable healthcare coverage for PwDs across the country.
Gwarzo spoke when he led a delegation to the palace of the traditional ruler and Head of the PwDs at Karo Majiji in Abuja.
The enrolment exercise was facilitated by the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), meant to alleviate the suffering being faced by PwDs in accessing affordable healthcare services.
He said the government began implementation of the pilot scheme in the Federal Capital Territory and expected to be extended to the 36 states of the federation.
Also, the Executive Secretary, NCPWD, Mr James Lalu, assured PwDs of his determination to support their welfare and education of their children, to ensure a better future within the disability community.
The Commission, he said, secured employment opportunities for PwDs in government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
”This is in fulfilment of the five per cent employment opportunities for Persons with Disabilities in line with the NCPWD establishment Act,” he said.
He lauded former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for accelerating the percentage of employment opportunities for PwDs in the country.
Lalu reiterated commitment to ensure the development of the allocated permanent site meant for building of residential houses of PwDs at Zuba area of the FCT.
Responding, Mr Mohammed Dantani, who spoke on behalf of the palace, urged government to support the education of their children.
Dantani, who is also the Secretary, FCT Community of PwDs, thanked the federal government for its support towards uplifting the living standard of PwDs in the FCT
He, however, called for deployment of additional teachers to the community primary school in the area, adding it was being overstretched due to manpower gaps.
“There are only three teachers to over 200 pupils in the school.
”We are appealing to government to increase the teacher ratio to help our children have better education.
”We don’t want our children to be on the street begging the way we are doing. Please, help assure the future of our children with better education,” he said.