The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has partnered with Emergency Response Africa (ERA) to launch a Technology-Enabled Emergency Medical Services Project (FID-EMS), a transformative initiative to revolutionize emergency healthcare response and boost health insurance enrollment in Edo State.
The Funds for Innovation in Development (FID), a financing mechanism of the French Government, committed to battling poverty and inequality, is the key funder of the project.
The FID-EMS Project spearheaded by the Edo State Government is a response to Nigeria's significant emergency healthcare crisis, where 54% of the country’s deaths could be prevented with timely emergency medical response, resulting in over 1.23 million unnecessary fatalities. The project aims to tackle challenges such as low public health trust, broken communication channels, and inefficient data collection, among many others.
The primary focus of the FID-EMS Project is to implement a technology-enabled Community-Based First Responder programme in Oredo, Egor, and Ikpoba Okha Local Government Areas of Edo State. Selected community members will be trained as first responders, utilizing ERA’s proprietary technology platform for rapid dispatch. Ambulances and hospitals will be aggregated through technology for efficient patient transportation.
The Project is expected to drive the enrolment of community members in the Edo Health Insurance Scheme (EDHIS) for financial sustainability. Edo State is committed to leading the way as the first state to implement this innovative model as a framework for unlocking access to the Emergency Medical Transport (EMT) gateway.
Dr. Samuel Alli, Edo State Honourable Commissioner for Health, expressed pride in Edo State’s pioneering role in the project, emphasizing that, “this project is in alignment with the vision for a healthier and safer Edo State.”
He further highlighted the State’s commitment to the project by providing counterpart funding and leading a committee of critical stakeholders across the State’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Anne Thibault, Chief Impact Officer at the Fund for Innovation in Development in France, which provides funding for the pilot phase, conveyed her excitement about the potential impact of the innovation in the context of Nigeria.
She emphasized, “ERA’s intervention to train volunteers to respond to medical emergencies, combined with a digital platform for facilitating the management of these volunteers, is innovative and could significantly improve the population’s access to hospitals and emergency services, especially in remote communities.”
On her part, Folake Owodunni, CEO of ERA, said, “The FID-Edo Project marks a pivotal moment in transforming emergency healthcare response in Nigeria. Together with the Edo State Government, we are committed to saving lives, improving healthcare infrastructure, and increasing health insurance enrollment, setting a remarkable example for the entire nation.”