In March we announced we would be working with Kwara state and Afrilight in Nigeria to provide large scale identity verification services. We are very excited to announce the project has now commenced.

The Universal Health Insurance Program will bring primary medical care to the rural state’s 3 million citizens. Access to quality primary healthcare is a problem, particularly in rural areas. In 2016 Nigeria was ranked 187th out of 200 countries for healthcare quality as well as very low on a number of common health indicators such as expected lifespan and mortality rates at birth.

On Thursday July 12th, the executive governor of the State, Alh. DR. Abdulfatah Ahmed, launched the Universal Health Insurance Program for Kwara State Sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group.

BiometricUpdate noted that “While fingerprint technology has been trialed to provide identity verification for the program, the frequently worn fingers of the rural state’s largely agricultural population made it unsuitable for many.”

An article in Mobile Marketing wrote about SmilePass “Citizens will be able to access essential care to improve their health, reducing poverty and increasing productivity in the area.”

In the same vein, The Journal of Health stated “The benefits for the state are clear: allowing citizens access to essential care to improve their health will help to reduce poverty and potentially increase productivity. Kwara State’s economy is heavily reliant on agriculture and a healthier population could mean stronger economic benefits for all.”

And Planet Biometrics wrote an article saying “Healthcare funding by private out-of-pocket payments is unaffordable to many Nigerians, but biometric technology can now play a part in democratising the system and bring healthcare and hope to millions.”

The initiative will be helping to reduce poverty by improving health, granting access to essential care for citizens and reducing indirect costs through needing a family member to provide care. There are currently 80,000 state employees are already registered and trained field workers are poised to register 500,000 citizens within the next 90 days. SmilePass are honoured to be part of such a great initiative bringing about social change for good. If you’re interested in discussing the initiative or finding out more about SmilePass in general, please contact us here.