Health:FG to adopt new financing model

Agency Report

The Federal Government is to adopt a new financing model as part of efforts to strengthen the national health system.

Vice President Yemi Osibanjo disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting to bring in private innovations in the health sector on Thursday in Abuja.

Osibanjo said that the government hopes to pay particular attention to North East Nigeria as part of efforts to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

He added that the meeting was designed to get private sector support for government’s initiative.

The vice president said that the continuous partnership with private sector players was to ensure adequate finance and deliver the UHC.

“It is also an opportunity for Nigeria’s health authorities to highlight some of the challenges in the sector.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, restated  government drive towards strengthening the national health system for effective, accessible and affordable delivery of basic primary healthcare services.

Ehanire said that despite the considerable progress recorded in the country, under nutrition continues to hamper the attainment of national goals with 37 per cent of children under five years of age stunted.

“Far too many newborns, children, adolescents and women still die from preventable conditions annually, especially among poor and vulnerable communities.’’

He said that the lifetime risk of maternal death from pregnancy-related causes, which is one in 29 and only about 39 per cent of Nigerian women receive skilled attendance during childbirth.

“The total fertility rate at 5.5 is high and the contraceptive prevalence rate among married women is just 15 per cent.

“Infant and under five mortality are also elevated at 69/1000 and 128/1000 live births respectively.

“In the Northeast, health systems have been ravaged and healthcare services severely disrupted following the Boko Haram insurgency.

“This has been particularly devastating with regard to Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), which has also resulted to an estimated 2.1 million IDPs.’’

Ehanire therefore called for continued partnership with the private sector so as to finance and deliver the UHC.

“This Service Delivery Innovation Challenge is unprecedented, in that, it is the first time the Nigerian health sector has taken this approach to private sector engagement.

“The improvement of our reproductive health indices and development milestones to meet both national and international targets is a collective responsibility,” he said.

Ehanire therefore urged all stakeholders to join hands to ensure good and quality health delivery among women, children and adults in the country.

The Executive Director, Finance and Strategy, Sterling Bank, Mr Suleiman Abubakar, restated its commitment to relentlessly support the health sector and other critical sectors financially.

“We believe that scaling up innovative solutions for efficient health systems through public private partnerships is key to achieving tremendous advancements and successes in the health sector,” he said.