Home News NHIS urge Nigerians to embrace health maintenance culture

NHIS urge Nigerians to embrace health maintenance culture

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 By Becky John

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) on Tuesday urged Nigerians to embrace health maintenance services. Mr Ayo Osinlu, Head Media and Public Relations Unit of the scheme, told the newsmen in Abuja that health maintenance was vital in the life of a citizen. Osinlu said that Community Based Health Insurance Programme (CBHI) was one of the platforms the scheme had introduced to ensure that Universal Health Coverage was widely embraced by Nigerians. He said that CBHI had been reconstructed to ensure that communities were aware of the benefits in enrolling for health services.

“Community Based Health Insurance has been rejuvenated, reorganised, repackaged and redesigned in a way that it is running fast and it is now making a lot of progress. “As at now, we have launched a number of communities based health programmes across the country,” he said.
Osinlu said that the scheme had functional offices in every state of the federation to enable them access each state and their communities.
“Those who are in the various state offices will find it easier to identify those hindrances to reach communities.
“It is easier for them to determine the peculiar hindrances across the country, the offices will adopt the means of getting across to them,” he said.
He said the CBHI programme had been widely recognised by communities, while others were at the level of embracing it with much anticipation.
“Several communities right now are at the point where they are ready for the inauguration, arrangements have been completed and all the efforts needed for the programme are on ground.

“The good news for us is that CBHI has become fashionable, it is looking like a health competition in communities across the country,’’ he said.
Osinlu, however, decried the approach some Nigerians had towards embracing the CBHI, adding that people were naturally hesitant to health maintenance. “Basically, there is a natural hesitation about health insurance among Nigerians whereby they think that health insurance is a bad omen.
“People associate health insurance with a bad omen, which is not realistic and that is a major drawback we have towards implementing this programme. “People get discouraged because health programmes in the past might have failed them, housing and pension schemes have failed them,’’ he said.

He said that unfulfilled health programmes in the past had also contributed in deterring people from enrolling into health insurance services.
“So, there is this usual hesitation that the government may have come up again with their pranks,” he said. Osinlu said the beneficiaries of the present health programmes stood as illustrations and proofs to people in doubt. He said that the scheme would organise a forum involving the top authorities in the health sector from states in the country. According to him, this is to sensitise them on how they can understand better the benefits of health insurance, the concept of community based health insurance. Osinlu said the scheme was making progress towards ensuring that barriers were surmounted and CBHI got nearer to the people.

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