NHIA, SFH Sign MoU to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage
The National Health Insurance Agency (NHIA) and Society for Family Health (SFH) on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate Universal Health Coverage (UCH) in Nigeria.
The MoU was signed in Abuja by the Director-General of NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo and the Managing Director of SFH, Dr Omokhudu Idogho.
Sambo said the collaboration was to deepen the penetration of health insurance in Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration would be a good one as it took into cognisance many factors that would enhance health insurance in the country.
He said “going through the list of the areas, you will all agree that they are areas that are of paramount importance to the NHIA and they are areas that have a lot to do with deepening the penetration of NHIA and its activities in Nigeria.
“We are talking about the issues that have to do with health insurance under one roof, which is the coordination platform of the health insurance ecosystem in Nigeria.
“As an organisation, we recognised the fact that the health insurance ecosystem was operating in silos and states are expected to develop their state health insurance agencies.
“Many states were not able to do that and there was no clearly defined mechanism of interface between organisations and the major stakeholders.”
He added that this need gave birth to the health insurance under one roof initiative.
Sambo added that series of engagements with stakeholders were held and eventually the health insurance under one roof was agreed upon by all.
According to him, it is supposed to serve as platform that essentially coordinates all the health insurance activities in Nigeria.
He added that there are inputs from NHIA, state health insurance agencies, international partners and civil society organisations and healthcare providers.
Idogho of SFH said that the mission of the organisation is to improve the lives of Nigerians.
According to him, achieving health for all will require multisectoral collaborations from government, private and non-profit organisations.
He said that many challenges continue to pose threat to public health, especially high out of pocket spending and catastrophic expenditure on health.
Idogho said that SFH was supporting and contributing NHIA processes, including review of benefit packages and integration of Family Planning, HIV and Tuberculosis services.
He said the society also helped in the development of operational guidelines for the NHIA Act and design of new approaches and strategies to innovative/strategic financing toward making health insurance work for the people.
He added that “we will prioritise UHC with focus on Primary Health Care (PHC) and strategic purchasing in alignment with the SDG 3 on good health and wellbeing action plan.
“Signing the document by both parties is a critical step that would signpost the continuation of our robust partnership.
“This would be in provision of technical support and capacity building to the NHIA to strengthen its mandate toward achieving financial access to quality healthcare for Nigerians.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the areas of collaboration are innovative financing, benefit packages, design, review, optimisation and harmonisation.
SFH will also support NHIA in the implementation review of the NHIA 10 years strategic plan.
Collaborations are also in the area of social marketing, provision of capacity building for staff of NHIA, optimisation of health support to NHIA in the optionalisation of health insurance under one roof, as well as other areas of mutual interest. (NAN)(
Health Professionals Urge Sani to Prioritise Sector in Kaduna
Some experts in the health sector have advised the new Governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, to prioritise the sector in order to improve the well-being of the citizens.
The health experts spoke on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Madaki Sheyin, Kaduna State Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), urged the new governor to reverse the trend of brain drain that hit the State especially in the last six years.
According to Sheyin, he should prioritise the health sector because of its importance to the masses.
“Emphasis must be made on human capital development; without a good human resource whatever structures built will not bring the needed gain or positive change,” he said.
He added that training and development, career progression and other incentives would attract manpower to the state.
“Kaduna needs to retain its best hands in the sector and attract many more through improved welfare packages.
“Also, attention must be given to capacity building and development with the right kind of equipment and infrastructure put in place.
“A needs assessment should be done and consultations with relevant stakeholders carried out with the stakeholders being carried along in various stages of policy development and implementation.
He added that public private partnership (PPP) was worth looking at, to curb wastage and improve service delivery and efficiency in the sector.
Dr Nuhu Yusuf, another medical doctor, said improved staff welfare, good working conditions should be one of the priorities the governor should have.
He added that the governor should build good state- of- the- art facilities in the state.
“Fully equipped hospitals, like those obtained in developed countries with modern equipment and should discourage increase in medical tourism.’’
Mr Morakinyo Rilwan, National Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, said the governor should embark on mass employment of nurses and doctors.
“The “japa” syndrome affected health workers in Kaduna seriously and their “japaing” is not to overseas, but to neighbouring states that pay better.
“We congratulate the new administration of governor Sani and our prayers are that God Almighty will guide him to do what is beneficial to the populace.
“However, the expectations of health workers in Kaduna state are not different from what was presented to him during the campaign period when he met with Kaduna state health workers forum and the presentation to the transition committee on May 16.
“So, he should try as much as possible to keep to his campaign promises.
“Hazard allowance should be reviewed upward and we expect him to be workers-friendly unlike his predecessor and dialogue with them on areas that may seem difficult to accomplish.”
He added that health workers, especially nurses suffered in the hands of kidnappers due to lack of security in the hospital and some of these facilities had no perimeter fence.
“Upward review of workers allowances as a motivation for those who are ready to stay back.
“Lastly, he should pay all the arrears of unions and Association check off dues not remitted, to allow professional associations to concentrate on their activities and pay their workers.
“Health facilities should be upgraded with adequate consumables and other working tools,’’ he said. (NAN)
FG Restates Commitment to Increasing Access to Family Planning Programmes
The Federal Government has restated its commitment to enunciating policies that would increase access to family planning programmes for couples.
Dr Boladale Alonge, Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, restated the commitment on Wednesday in Abuja while declaring open the 2023 Annual Family Planning Technical Review meeting.
Alonge was represented by an official of the ministry, Mrs Bako Aiyegbusi.
Ayegbusi said the Federal Government was determined to eliminate challenges militating against the uptake of family planning programmes.
She explained that the meeting would offer opportunities to close gaps existing in family planning advocacy and implementation.
“It is pertinent to note that the Federal Ministry of Health is working to expand access to family planning commodities.
“The Federal Government has developed policies to ensure that every couple has access to family planning programmes,’’ she said.
She expressed gratitude to UN Population Fund and to other multilateral partners for their support and assured that cultural beliefs and other barriers militating against family planning would be overcome.
In her remarks, Mrs Roseline Ode, Practice Area Lead, Family Planning/Reproductive Health Society for Family Health (an international NGO), said the meeting was necessary to scale up services for family planning.
Ode described family planning as fundamental to reducing maternal mortality rate and promoting the production of qualitative children.
She noted that family planning was imperative for couples the world over.
Dr Ejike Oji, Chairman, Technical Management Committee, Association for the Advancement of Family Planning, another international NGO, said that progress was being made in the implementation of “Family Planning-2030’’ goals.
Oji affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving unmet needs for family planning, which he said was paramount in realising the 27 per cent commitment by Nigeria. (NAN)
Expert Attributes Pelvic Inflammation in Women to Poor Menstrual Hygiene
Dr Abdullahi Kabiru, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi (ATBUTH), has attributed the cases of pelvic inflammation infection among women to poor menstrual hygiene.
According to him, pelvic inflammation infections are caused by poor sanitary attitude among women, especially the use of unclean sanitary pads.
Kabiru stated this in an interview in Bauchi on Wednesday, saying other infections likely to affect such women are urinary track infection (UTI) and viginal infections.
“Without menstrual hygiene, women are at risk of infections such as the inflammation of the pelvic among others,” he said.
“Communities and parents need to be sensitised on the imperative of menstrual hygiene and management to make women at ease and interact freely in the society,” he added.
“The social, economic and psychological challenges experienced by women during menstruation can led to depression because girls and women are stigmatised,” he said.
He stressed that long-term consequences of the infections could led to issues around pregnancy.
He, therefore, advocated for access to water, disposal items and friendly menstrual toilets in schools to promote good hygiene during the monthly cycles among girls.
He further called for collective effort by the communities and parents towards supporting women to fight all forms of stigmatisation that could lead to depression among them. (NAN)
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