Common Well being Protection as a Renewed Hope for Nigerians, By Rahma Olamide Oladosu

Common Well being Protection as a Renewed Hope for Nigerians, By Rahma Olamide Oladosu
Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate
Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate


FIRS

Common Well being Protection as a Renewed Hope for Nigerians

By Rahma Olamide Oladosu

Well being, as a social service, is essential to the teeming inhabitants of any nation because the sector has been recognised as the first engine of development and growth.

Nonetheless, well being care in Nigeria is financed by a mixture of tax income, out-of-pocket funds, donor funding and medical health insurance. Nigeria’s well being expenditure is comparatively low, even when put next with different African nations, therefore, out-of-pocket expenditure is a really excessive in a rustic battling with poverty.

In August final yr, the Particular Adviser to the President on Well being, Salma Anas-Ibrahim, revealed that the Federal Authorities has promised to supply well being protection for over 50 million Nigerians, particularly the weak and aged folks, by 2027.

In accordance with Anas-Ibrahim, nobody shall be left behind within the Federal Authorities’s common well being protection.

She mentioned: “As I’m talking to you at this time as a particular adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, I need to reiterate to you that it is a crucial stage in our lifetime in Nigeria, as we’re transitioning to a brand new authorities of renewed hope and a renewed hope for the well being sector.

“I want to say that the President is dedicated to making sure that we meet and realise our common well being care protection, which additionally includes the well being of the aged folks.

“Nobody shall be left behind, not an aged individual or every other individual shall be left behind. The renewed hope well being agenda of President Bola Tinubu is dedicated to overlaying over 50 million Nigerians, and most of them are weak, together with the aged, inside the subsequent 4 years, by the grace of God.”

Common well being protection (UHC) means everybody has entry to the complete vary of high quality well being providers they want, when and the place they want them, with out monetary hardship. It covers important well being providers, from well being promotion to prevention, therapy, rehabilitation and palliative care throughout the life course.

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The Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Authority (NHIA) emerged from the previous Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Scheme (NHIS) on the nineteenth of Might 2022. The Authority has an expanded perform to manage, promote, handle and combine all medical health insurance schemes and practices in Nigeria. This implies they stand to make sure the efficient implementation of the Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Coverage that may facilitate the attainment of common well being protection, a trajectory that may be all-inclusive for each the wealthy and weak.

The NHIA in Nigeria is unarguably an indispensable technique for ameliorating the poor well being indices of the nation and decreasing out-of-pocket expenditure for high quality healthcare providers.

Nonetheless, specialists have been advocating for the inclusion of Most cancers and Uncared for Tropical Ailments (NTDs) into NHIA. Dr. Nneka Nwobbi, the founding father of Kids Residing with Most cancers Basis (CLWCF) throughout their annual “2023 Walkathon” to mark the top of Childhood Most cancers Consciousness Month, urged the Federal Authorities to subsidise therapy for Nigerian kids affected by childhood most cancers. She mentioned that kids with most cancers and their dad and mom have continued to undergo attributable to an absence of assets to fund their therapies.

Nwobbi mentioned most cancers in adults and kids isn’t captured within the nation’s Nationwide Well being Insurance coverage Authority (NHIA), saying there was a necessity for the Federal authorities to subsidise therapy for kids whose tenure of therapy is long-term.

Just lately, the Coordinating Minister of Well being and Social Welfare, Professor Muhammad Ali Pate, introduced in a press briefing that 750,000 Nigerians had enrolled in a medical health insurance scheme inside 7 months. This can be a vital second for Nigeria’s well being sector because it reveals progress in increasing healthcare entry, contributes to attaining common well being protection, displays authorities dedication to bettering healthcare, raises public consciousness about well being schemes, and offers useful knowledge for planning and policymaking.

It gained’t be misplaced to hope that by the point Professor Pate is finished implementing his good initiatives, Nigeria would probably have improved well being infrastructure, diminished the speed of mind drain and enticed Nigerian docs overseas to return, elevated the speed of kid vaccination in opposition to preventable illnesses, diminished the speed of toddler and maternal mortality, elevated the speed of HPV vaccination in Nigeria, enhance Nigeria’s probabilities of attaining Common Well being Protection with NHIA help, and diminished the present price of Uncared for Tropical Ailments (NTDs).

Well being care is definitely very costly in Nigeria. The medication, lab investigations, surgical procedures and even correct session generally trigger a fortune and poor Nigerians must make a tricky alternative between dropping their family members or securing loans at ridiculous rates of interest to pay exorbitant medical payments. With this administration’s UHC, the long-suffering lots of this nation could have the only option to make.

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