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Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme, Other Health Insurance Programs Can Help Country Achieve UHC

Devex: Opinion: Only 1 percent of Nigerians have health insurance. Here’s how to change that.
Ifeanyi Nsofor, director of policy and advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch, CEO of EpiAFRIC, and a 2018 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow

“…[T]oday, only one percent of Nigerians have health insurance. … Universal health coverage, which entails providing effective access — including financial risk protection — to at least essential health care, is key to achieving the world’s Sustainable Development Goals. Spurred by these goals, momentum towards UHC is growing. It takes political will for countries to implement UHC. … Of course, [Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)] cannot pay for all health care expenses. But it should make basic health services much more affordable for the majority of Nigerians, especially the poorest. A functional, fully funded NHIS, combined with other prepayment plans, such as health insurance, would save countless lives as people receive the care they need, and prevent financial crises. … The global push for universal health coverage can help Nigeria to turn the corner. And if Nigeria can help to show the way, real progress on African health will follow” (4/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.