Celebrity dancer Kafayat Shafau-Ameh's campaign for a better health insurance plan for dancers finally paid off as a leading health management organisation, Avon HMO partnered with her recently to launch the Kaffy Health Plan. Though initiated with dancers in mind, the health plan is accessible to creatives in the entertainment industry.
The first-of-its-kind partnership is a major boost to dancers who are somewhat neglected. According to the dancer popularly known as Kaffy, it has become commonplace to come across news of incessant death and health challenges faced by dancers in Nigeria.
"For instance, four dancers died in the space of two months this year," she said at the product launch. "An estimated 98 per cent of Nigerian dancers lacked health insurance cover. Entertainers are like an engendered species as far as healthcare is concerned in Nigeria."
She also identified a lack of awareness about wellbeing as a bane of the creative industry.
Currently, less than five per cent of Nigerians have health insurance and with the youth constituting a bulk of the population, AVON HMO's new plans will further improve access to quality healthcare.
"This is the first of its kind milestone for the performing arts industry particularly, dancers. The journey to a health insurance deal for my artistic community has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, we cannot bring back to those whom we have lost, quite avoidably due to lack of access to basic health care. However, this is just the first part of the work," she noted.
Speaking on behalf of CEO of Avon HMO, Adesimbo Bello-Ukiri, the company's Head of Sales, Retention and Growth Atinuke Kolade, reinforced the commitment of Avon HMO to improving access to healthcare among Nigerian creatives.
"Over the years, we've been involved in a series of conversations about the plight of people in the entertainment industry. Hardly a year goes by without a prominent artist, young and old alike, making the rounds on social media for a medical condition they need funds to treat.
"It's sad that this happens and while people are usually able to raise funds for these individuals, we as a health management organisation believe there's a better way. Nobody deserves to be stranded for an inability to pay medical bills. This is why we exist and what we've done in partnership with Kaffy is an example of how we can protect people in the creative and entertainment fields."
Under Kaffy Health Plan, dancers and other creatives can enjoy access to quality healthcare. It offers an annual coverage that is flexible with options for individuals and families. "This is inclusive and it ensures that no one else is left behind," Kaffy concluded.