(The Guardian Nigeria) - It is hard to believe, but a child’s future can be determined years before they even reach their fifth birthday.
A child’s potential can be greatly enhanced or just as equally limited, within the first five years of their life. These years comprise the most fragile years and are the gateway to the formative years of a child’s life. Securing the future for our children, and indeed our country, requires that extra attention be paid to these formative years. It also means that we as young people must take up a role in advocating for the healthcare and other needs of these children, as the future of all our efforts is theirs to hold and cherish.
According to the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, some 80 per cent of the world’s under-five deaths in 2011 occurred in only 25 countries, and about half in only five countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and China.
(Ghanaweb) - On-going stakeholder’s meeting on the National Health Insurance Scheme at the La Palm Hotel is expected to among other things finally determine the fate of the National Democratic Congress’ much trumpeted One Time premium payment plan. The forum which provided a platform for key stakeholders to deliberate on alternative and sustainable healthcare financing for Ghana is also expected to come out with recommendations which will among others, see an increase in the National Health Insurance Levy, which currently stands at two and half percent.
(Business Day Online) - Over the years, healthcare financing in Nigeria has come from public funding, health insurance scheme, external loans, grants and out-of-pocket payment for medicare.
In 2007, Harvard Business School professor Regina Herzlinger and McGraw-Hill published Who Killed Health Care? America’s $2 Trillion Medical Problem—And The Consumer-Driven Cure. In the book, Herzlinger describes the health care system of Switzerland as a case study in consumer-driven health care, one that has things for both liberals and conservatives to like (and dislike). Given the fact that both Obamacare’s insurance exchanges and Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform proposals borrow from Switzerland’s model, it’s worth learning from Regi’s research on the topic. Her work has influenced my own thinking about how to use parts of Obamacare to reform Medicare, Medicaid, and the employer-sponsored health care system in the United States.
(The Guardian Nigeria) - Key public health milestones were reached in 2012, including the inauguration of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication in March with a $60 million budget for 2012 and 2013, end of polio transmission in India and meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target on drinking water ahead of schedule.
Also, there was a massive role out of the community health insurance programme, vulnerable group health insurance programme and voluntary contributors health insurance programme by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) all with the objective of obtaining universal coverage by 2015.
Another key point is the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine in June by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Pentavalent vaccine is a five-in-one version that protects against diphtheria (DPT), whooping cough, tetanus, Hepatitis B (Hep B), and Haemophillus influenza type b (Hib).
(Voices of America) - China says it has improved the quality health care to its population, but observers say continued reforms are needed to fix a dysfunctional system that is still plagued by high costs and uneven access.
A government white paper released this week says health care reforms launched in 2009 have made medical services more affordable and accessible, and have narrowed a substantial gap between care received in urban and rural regions.
Beijing has set the goal of providing universal health care to all residents, both urban and rural, by 2020. To reach that objective, health care spending is projected to triple to $1 trillion annually by 2020.
China life expectancy
The government says its investment in health care is paying off.
(Ghana Business News) - Ghana together with Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania will benefit from a $10 million public-private financing from the Medical Credit Fund (MCF) to boost the countries’ health sectors.
The MCF financing was sourced from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Calvert Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Soros Economic Development Fund, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Dutch private investors, as well as grant funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Officials indicated that the innovative approach could transform Africa’s health care delivery.
The MCF will enable small and mid-sized health care providers – clinics, laboratories, doctors and midwives – in Africa to receive the capital they need to improve their quality, the OPIC said December 21, 2012.
If successful in its initial implementation in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, OPIC says the MCF will expand into additional countri
(Economic Times) - The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a health insurance scheme of the Centre for people living below poverty line was launched today in Arunachal Pradesh.
The programme was launched by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki at a function in presence of his ministerial colleagues and other government officials, official sources informed.
Highlighting the scheme, Tuki said that it would help provide quality healthcare to all the beneficiaries which will help bring down the mortality rate.
He also informed that the service providers, the Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company limited had already signed MoU with the state government and would provide health insurance cover under the government sponsored RSBY to the BPL families in the state.
Initially ten districts out of total 17 have been selected for the scheme, while the rest would be included at a later stage, Tuki said.
RSBY is a unique scheme which empowers the card holder to get cashless treatment f
(HESP News) - This paper considers elements of the design of health systems and how these relate to moving towards universal coverage in the context of Africa. It focuses particularly on health financing issues (revenue collection, pooling and purchasing), but also raises health service delivery and management issues. In relation to revenue collection, the global consensus is that in order to pursue universal coverage, it is critical to reduce reliance on out-of-pocket payments as a means of funding health services. The author notes that the key focus in moving towards universal coverage should be on mandatory prepayment mechanisms and discusses the options for these.
(GhanaWeb) - That Ghana’s National Health Insurance (NHIS) is a novelty cannot be discarded. That the NHIS was designed to protect the poor and reduce out-of-pocket payments is also a fact. There is also no denying the fact that the NHIS has been able to facilitate access to equitable healthcare services for a section of the citizenry. Of course, there are nearly 60% of the population who are still uninsured—implying they are still living the ‘cash and carry system’ after almost a decade of implementation (according to the 2010 Annual Report of the Ministry of Health). Whether the NHIS is delivering its mission and has indeed been pro-poor as designed or not is not actually the focus of this piece of writing.
Indeed, the NHIS is being confronted with a number of challenges of which the NHIA is in position to address them. One of these challenges relate to the financial sustainability of the scheme.