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Nigeria

NHIS seeks more funds to attain universal health coverage

Country: 
Nigeria

(The Nigerian Voice) - The Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr AbdulRahman Sambo, said inadequate funding was needed to attain universal health coverage in the country.

Sambo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that there was the need for special funds to take care of the health needs of vulnerable persons in the country.

He said the scheme had developed key elements to achieving universal health insurance through compulsion for those who could afford health care and subsidy payment.

The subsidy payment, he explained, would ensure that the indigent were taken care of from some of the contributions of those who could afford to pay.

'The major challenge that we have is our law, which makes participation under the health insurance scheme optional, voluntary; number two, the non-logging in of the programmes of the NHIS by states and local governments; these are the two major that has been impeding the NHIS in atta

Performance-based financing boosts quality of health care in Nigeria

Country: 
Nigeria
(Results-Based Financing for Health Care) - My experience as a doctor who practiced actively in this country did not prepare me for the shock I had during the preparation of the Nigeria State Health Investment Project. I had worked for three years in the public sector at the beginning of my career but then spent more than a decade in the private sector. I had not imagined the decay in public infrastructure – leaking roofs, heaps of garbage, broken down equipment, and stock-outs of drugs and disposables for months on end in public health centers. The general morale of frontline health workers was low and some ingenious workers were actually buying their stock of drugs to provide services for patients. Not surprisingly, the utilization of health services was low and the quality of service appalling.

Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria One State at a Time: A Public-Private Partnership Community-Based Health Insurance Model

The 58th World Health Assembly in 2005 adopted a widely supported resolution encouraging countries to plan a transition to UHC and in 2010, the WHO World Health Report focused on alternative financing initiatives for achieving universal coverage. A key feature of UHC is that it includes prepayment and that it supports risk pooling, which ensures the spread of risk across time and across individuals. A broad range of risk-pooling mechanisms or insurance schemes are increasingly being utilized across the developing world to increase access and reduce the financial burden of health. Two years ago, in a rural community in Kwara State, Nigeria, we met Fatima a 62 year old grandmother who was struggling to care for herself and her two granddaughters aged three and nine. The children had been left with Fatima when their parents went to Lagos to look for work. Shortly thereafter, Fatima became ill, leaving her unable to work selling her homemade soybean cakes in the market for an income.

Author: 
Emily Gustafsson-Wright and Onno Schellekens
Publication Date: 
June 2013

Nigeria on the move towards universal health coverage

Photo credit: Management Sciences in Health

Kunle’s story touched me deeply. I walked into a pediatric unit of a teaching hospital in Nigeria a few years ago to review a patient. On the first bed was a lifeless child. He was brought in dead, a few minutes earlier by his parents. His mother, Bisi, wept uncontrollably. While in tears, she recounted how difficult it was for them to borrow money to get to the hospital. Although, they got some money from a chief in the community, the two-year old baby died before they got to the hospital.

Kunle’s case typifies the plight of many poor people in the country and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. The financial burden of illness makes many families poorer. People are afraid to go to hospitals because they may not be able to afford the cost of the health services they need. They prefer to buy drugs over the counter or visit a local herbalist who will charge little or nothing to provide poor health service.

I believe Kunle had a right to be alive today but he is not.

The Week in Headlines

UHC Forward's Weekly Roundup of Headlines from Around the Globe

Week of July 15, 2013 - Governments around the world are engaging in serious political and technical discussions on how to expand health coverage. Still others are considering such reforms, but are struggling to navigate the legal, financial, and political frameworks of their countries to determine the best path towards universal health coverage (UHC).

Below is a list of UHC-related headlines from around the world. If you are viewing this on the web and would prefer to receive The Week in Headlines in your inbox every week, subscribe to the email edition.

COUNTRY HEADLINES

India

Roadblocks to universal health coverage: India is the world’s largest generic medicines exporter and has the third largest national economy in the world, according to data from the World Bank. But its healthcare policies are failing its poorest citizens.

Expanding access to health insurance

Country: 
Nigeria

(This Day Live) - Former President Olusegun Obasanjo formally launched the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2005, more than 40 years after the idea was first mooted in Nigeria. Evidently bothered by why such a great idea stayed on the drawing board for so long, the then president charged NHIS to hit the ground running and ensure that all Nigerians have one form of health insurance or the other by 2015.

Sadly, that’s another desirable target that will be missed. However, amends can still be made if all critical stakeholders, with President Goodluck Jonathan in the lead, prioritise the widespread adoption of health insurance not just as an issue for the poor or just for the health sector, but as a creative instrument for expanding human welfare, national growth and sustainable development.

To be sure, the NHIS has chalked up some remarkable achievements in the past eight years.

The Week in Headlines

UHC Forward's Weekly Roundup of Headlines from Around the Globe

Week of July 8, 2013 - Governments around the world are engaging in serious political and technical discussions on how to expand health coverage. Still others are considering such reforms, but are struggling to navigate the legal, financial, and political frameworks of their countries to determine the best path towards universal health coverage (UHC).

Below is a list of UHC-related headlines from around the world.

Promoting universal financial protection in Nigeria

Chima Onoka is one of the authors of Promoting universal financial protection: constraints and enabling factors in scaling-up coverage with social health insurance in Nigeria

Photo credit: nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria is on the brink of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC)... That is probably everyone’s wish. The reality though is that many hurdles separate Nigeria from that dream. Achieving UHC in Nigeria implies having financial risk protection for 150 million people, a step that for certain, will change African and global indices. Eight years after setting up a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), 4% of Nigerians are covered by the scheme, largely through the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme (FSSHIP) that currently, covers employees of the federal government and their families. The NHIS, an agency of the federal government, has established a plethora of social health insurance schemes (SHIPs) to ferry various population groups to the dreamland: Formal Sector SHIP (FSSHIP), Voluntary contributors SHIP (VCSHIP), Tertiary Institutions SHIP (TSSHIP), Community Based SHIP (CBSHIP), Rural Dwellers SHIP (RDSHIP), among others.

NHIS inaugurates committee on universal health coverage

Country: 
Nigeria

(Hallmark) - The Acting Executive Secretary of NHIS, Dr Abdulrahman Sambo, said yesterday that the benefit of universal health coverage enabled Nigerians to have access to qualitative health services and protect them against public health risks.

Sambo, represented by the General Manager, Planning and Monitoring, Dr Kenneth Korve, said the committee would brainstorm on targets of the Presidential Health Summit coming up later in the year.

“It has increasingly been acknowledged worldwide that the most important strategy to improve the health outcomes of any nation is to provide an unfettered access to health services for its citizens when the need arises.

“Provision of both physical and financial access, not only protects citizens against healthcare costs, which at times could have catastrophic effect, but also reduces other costs”.

Sambo said that the scheme was working to ensure that Nigeria met the health-related MDGs and also working for continuous promotion of health n

More Nigerians are embracing health insurance

Country: 
Nigeria

AllAfrica.com) - Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo is the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme. At a media parley recently, he speaks on the agency, its achievements and the challenges confronting the scheme.

The National Health Insurance Scheme formally took off in 2005. How has it been?

It has been very challenging but promising. It has been challenging in the sense that the scheme was given a tough mandate to ensure universal health coverage by 2015 without being given the necessary resources to make this possible. But it has been promising because we have made tremendous progress and we have the prospects of doing even better. The formal sector programme at the federal level has run fairly well, even though there were initial challenges in form of scepticism.