By Cecilia Ologunagba
Prof. Nasir Sambo, Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), says the scheme plans to enroll no fewer than 20 million Nigerians for health insurance annually for the next 10 years.
The Head, Media and Public Relations, NHIS,Mr Emmanuel Ononokpono, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, Sambo disclosed the plan at the enrolment for beneficiaries of Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) in Jigawa State.
Sambo said the scheme targeted 20 million Nigeria annually nationwide, for ten years, noting that the BHCPF was part of the overall effort to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
The executive director said the BHCPF, provided for in section 11 of the National Health Act of 2014 guaranteed the application of one per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for funding of primary health care.
“ The programme will ensure that the vulnerable population has affordable access to minimum health care’’.
According to Sambo, the commencement of enrollment of beneficiaries under the BHCPF is a strong indication of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to tenets of the next level agenda on health.
He said that the implementation of the National Health Act, signed into law in 2014, only began under the watch of the current administration in 2019.
Sambo said the scheme, which was one of the implementing agencies of the fund, was now properly positioned and equipped to provide effective oversight of the programme guided by the ongoing reforms of its operations.
Speaking at the occasion, the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, said that the commencement of enrollment was an important milestone in the pursuit of quality health care for citizens of the state.
Abubakar, who was represented by his deputy, Malam Umar Namadi at the event, said the state government was committed to raising the health indices of its population.
“Jigawa State government has granted sponsorship to 60 citizens of the state to study medicine in China to bridge the human resource gap in the health care delivery system of the state.
“ The second batch of trainees is waiting in line to benefit from the medical course’’.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Dr Salisu Muazu, said that 420 people would be registered at the occasion to signal the starting of the programme.
Muazu said the enrollment would be conducted throughout the 279 political wards in the state, stressing that the state was fully prepared to ensure that people at the grassroots are impacted by the programme.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Contributory Health Care Management Agency, Dr Nura Ibrahim, said that the state began drawing funding under the programme since 2019.
Ibrahim said over N500 million had so far been received by the state.
Also, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Primary Health Development Agency (JSPHCDA), Dr Kabiru Ibrahim said that the Sakwaya Primary Health Centre (PHC) where the event held took the delivery of two babies under the programme on the eve of the launching.
Jigawa is the third state in the series of launching under the BHCPF after Cross River and Bauchi in the last one week. (NAN)