By Ndidi Chukwu
To achieve Nigeria’s target for Universal Health Coverage, plans are underway to take health insurance to every rural community in Nigeria. Federal Ministry of Health on Wednesday 19th August said it is harmonizing its Strategic Health Development Plan with the vision of the present Administration on Healthcare in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage for Nigerians.
This was stated by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Linus Awute, in an interview shortly after the Presidential Briefing at the State House.The Permanent Secretary said that the measure is to guarantee equity in ensuring that poor rural dwellers have access to affordable and reliable healthcare.
The vision according to him will be driven by the community-based Social Health Insurance Programme as well as the Voluntary Contributor Social Health Insurance Programme which have already been launched by the Ministry. Referring to the recent state visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States of America (USA), Mr. Awute said “The health sector has started to feel the positive impact of that visit as there are emerging new partnership undertakings between key agencies of the United States and other global organizations who are now keying into the programme of the Nigeria Health Sector”.
He also stated that “one of the key elements of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Nigeria is International Health Security for which Nigeria’s scorecard has been rated very high in the Global Community”.
The most recent legacies are the records of Nigeria on Disease Emergency Response and Containment, as well as eradication of Guinea Worm, the Ebola Virus Disease and the interruption of transmission of Wild Polio Virus.