Achieving UHC without leaving anyone behind (2)

6 July, 2020

This article [ ] is both impressive and exciting. Impressive because it appears that a local non governmental effort is achieving what the national health insurance scheme (NHIS) set up since 2005 is failing to achieve, namely progressively increase coverage of beneficiaries to the scheme. It is exciting because those of us who have continuously worked for decades for the establishment of a mandatory health insurance Scheme in Nigeria that will cover all 200 million Nigerians can take hope from what Mr Akaninyene Obot has described in this article, taking place in one small community in his home state.

The history of efforts by many groups in the country to establish a functional and effective health insurance scheme has been Chequered Such that fifteen years after the national scheme was launched it covered less than 5% of the population and these are workers in the formal sector of the economy. It does not cover any one on the informal sector that make up about 90% of the population. Until the objective of the founders of the NHIS is achieved it is not possible for the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage given its rating as the poverty capital of the world in 2019.

We shall be sharing Mr Obot's report as far and as widely as we can to guide other efforts that we know are happening across the country. I suppose other members of HIFA in African countries can share it too since it suggests a template that can be replicated across the continent.

Joseph Ana

HIFA profile: Joseph Ana is the Lead Consultant and Trainer at the Africa Centre for Clinical Governance Research and Patient Safety in Calabar, Nigeria. In 2015 he won the NMA Award of Excellence for establishing 12-Pillar Clinical Governance, Quality and Safety initiative in Nigeria. He has been the pioneer Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) National Committee on Clinical Governance and Research since 2012. He is also Chairman of the Quality & Performance subcommittee of the Technical Working Group for the implementation of the Nigeria Health Act. He is a pioneer Trustee-Director of the NMF (Nigerian Medical Forum) which took the BMJ to West Africa in 1995. He is particularly interested in strengthening health systems for quality and safety in LMICs. He has written Five books on the 12-Pillar Clinical Governance for LMICs, including a TOOLS for Implementation. He established the Department of Clinical Governance, Servicom & e-health in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Nigeria in 2007. Website: Joseph is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA working group on Community Health Workers.

Email: jneana AT