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Obio Community Health Insurance Scheme (CHIS)


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Obio Cottage Hospital was established in 1978 by the Rivers state government. It started as a primary health center, providing preventive and curative health care services to indigenes of Obio/Akpor LGA. More than two decades later, Shell Petroleum Development Company and its Joint Venture partners (SPDC JV) started supporting the hospital as part of its social infrastructure program. SPDC JV upgraded and rehabilitated the facility converting the 2-bed health care center operating on a twin bungalow building with 13 staff; to a 62-bed facility with over 100 staff. In 2010, SPDC JV introduced the Community Health Insurance Scheme, an innovative program that aims at providing effective and efficient healthcare services through the pooling of funds by members of the scheme. The scheme established through a tripartite arrangement between the Rivers State Government, SPDC JV, and the people of Obio communities can be described as a Public/Private/People partnership to deliver health care. A signed Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU) guides the responsibilities of every partner. March 2020, the Obio Community Health Insurance Scheme celebrated its 10th year and within that period has achieved the following:

Achievements of OBIO CHIS

The uptake of services at Obio Cottage Hospital has increased steadily. A cumulative of over 65,000 clients have enrolled in the scheme since 2010 with an average monthly enrolment of 750 clients. This is unprecedented for cottage hospitals.

Obio Cottage Hospital has grown from a 2-bed primary health centre recording two-child deliveries and a client load of 40 patients monthly to a 62-bed cottage hospital with over 288 child deliveries and 8,000 patients per month, as at the end of 2019.

The facility presently has 165 staff – among them are 69 nurses, 17 doctors, 9 CHEWS, 2 pharmacists, 4 pharmacy technicians, doctors on sabbatical and some volunteers as compared to 8 staff before the commencement of CHIS.

In less than 10 years, the Community Health Insurance Scheme at Obio Cottage Hospital has made quality, affordable, accessible, acceptable and sustainable healthcare available to the people of the Shell Industrial Area community and its environs.

Obio CHIS Documentary

This documentary video traces the history of Obio Community Health Insurance. It helps viewers understand how the scheme started, building of the public-private-people partnership, perspectives of different stakeholders, lessons over the 10 years of its existence, challenges encountered, sustainability of the scheme and how to take it to scale beyond Obio Cottage Hospital.

Obio CHIS Doodle Explainer

The Obio Community Health Insurance team believes in communicating the successes, challenges and lessons learnt in conceptualising and implementing the scheme. In this Doodle explainer video, the scheme is explained in graphics that make it easy to understand. The aim is to encourage others seeking to establish community health insurance schemes.


Let’s take you on a journey through the Obio Cottage Hospital to see people, infrastructure, processes, partnerships and care behind the Obio Community Health Insurance Scheme. To view more photos, please click here.

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