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The World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to support Nigeria in implementing the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022

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  The Country Representative of the World Health Organization WR Walter Kazadi Mulombo has underlined the organization s commitment to support Nigeria in accelerating the implementation of the recently enacted Health Insurance Act Dr Mulombo made the commitment during a high level meeting with the Secretary of the Government of the Federation SGF Boss Mustapha the Director General the National Health Insurance Authority NHIA Professor Mohammed Sambo and a team of the WHO Health Financing Mission WHO delegates in Geneva Regional Office for Africa and Nigeria The first high level WHO Health Financing Mission to Nigeria led by Dr Joseph Kutzin was scheduled to provide sustainable health financing support to the country towards Universal Health Coverage UHC and the health security while carrying out targeted advocacy activities to accelerate the NHIA s operationalization Law that includes the Fund for Vulnerable Groups VGF This is in line with WHO s goal of ensuring that all people and communities receive the quality health services they need without financial hardship Dr Mulombo said President Buhari s signing of the NHIA Bill will make health insurance mandatory for all legal residents in Nigeria and expand coverage to more than 83 million poor and vulnerable people He expressed optimism that the government will prioritize the immediate appropriation of the Special Intervention Fund in the Law to establish the Fund for Vulnerable Groups Indeed the task of ensuring that all citizens have access to the quality health care they need without falling into poverty is a deliberate political decision to achieve the cardinal objectives of population coverage service coverage and financial protection I have no doubt that in a large federal nation like Nigeria this milestone appropriation of the Special Intervention Fund will be achieved in fiscal year 2023 he said In his remarks Mr Mustapha thanked WHO as Nigeria s leading development partner in health and highlighted WHO s invaluable guidance particularly on the COVID 19 pandemic WHO has shown that it is an organization that cares and attends to the health needs of people As for the NHIA let me congratulate the Director General for his tenacity and determination to make this Act a reality I want to thank the WHO and other partners who supported the drafting of the bill This modest attempt has brought basic health insurance coverage to vulnerable people and making it mandatory will go a long way in helping our people manage their income and stay in work in terms of the depressed economy we are witnessing The SGF also expressed the government s commitment to allocate the Special Intervention Fund SIF in the 2023 national budget for the establishment of the Vulnerable Groups Fund VGF No family in Nigeria has survived financially by caring for their own cancer patients Therefore the health of our people is the first of our priorities despite the conflicting demands he stated During his promotional visit to the Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire the Minister commended the unique role WHO is playing in the health sector in Nigeria and appreciated its strong commitment and steadfastness to improve health care for all Nigerians at all times Earlier the mission had visited the NHIA headquarters where Professor Sambo said that although Nigeria has operated health insurance for the last twenty three years with low citizen coverage because it was not mandatory the new law has the potential to accelerate the achievement of universal health Coverage for all Nigerians The NHIA Director General added that WHO s support so far has been crucial and that the Mission is the first of its kind in the organization s history I have been reliably informed that this is the first high level mission to the National Health Insurance Scheme Authority now since its inception and I have no doubt that this commitment from the highest and best financing experts in the WHO health will produce credible results It cannot be denied that health is one of the critical elements of development With the new law and implementation modalities the NHIA is ready to soon achieve universal health coverage for all Nigerians he stated The Mission also met with the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe the Chairman of the House Health Services Committee the Honorable Tanko Sununu the Director General of the Budget Dr Ben Akabueze and Key Partners for Health Development in Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NHIA bill into law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May 2022
The World Health Organization (WHO) has pledged to support Nigeria in implementing the National Health Insurance Authority Act 2022

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Representative of the World Health Organization

The Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WR), Walter Kazadi Mulombo, has underlined the organization’s commitment to support Nigeria in accelerating the implementation of the recently enacted Health Insurance Act. Dr. Mulombo made the commitment during a high-level meeting with the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, the Director General, the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Professor Mohammed Sambo and a team of the WHO Health Financing Mission.

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WHO delegates in Geneva, Regional Office for Africa and Nigeria.

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The first high-level WHO Health Financing Mission to Nigeria, led by Dr. Joseph Kutzin, was scheduled to provide sustainable health financing support to the country towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the health security, while carrying out targeted advocacy activities to accelerate the NHIA‘s operationalization.

Law that includes the Fund for Vulnerable Groups (VGF).

This is in line with WHO’s goal of ensuring that all people and communities receive the quality health services they need without financial hardship.

Dr. Mulombo said President Buhari’s signing of the NHIA Bill will make health insurance mandatory for all legal residents in Nigeria and expand coverage to more than 83 million poor and vulnerable people.

He expressed optimism that the government will prioritize the immediate appropriation of the Special Intervention Fund in the Law to establish the Fund for Vulnerable Groups.

“Indeed, the task of ensuring that all citizens have access to the quality health care they need without falling into poverty is a deliberate political decision to achieve the cardinal objectives of population coverage, service coverage, and financial protection.

I have no doubt that in a large federal nation like Nigeria, this milestone appropriation of the Special Intervention Fund will be achieved in fiscal year 2023,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr. Mustapha thanked WHO as Nigeria’s leading development partner in health and highlighted WHO’s invaluable guidance, particularly on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“WHO has shown that it is an organization that cares and attends to the health needs of people.

As for the NHIA, let me congratulate the Director General for his tenacity and determination to make this Act a reality.

I want to thank the WHO and other partners who supported the drafting of the bill.

This modest attempt has brought basic health insurance coverage to vulnerable people, and making it mandatory will go a long way in helping our people manage their income and stay in work in terms of the depressed economy we are witnessing.” The SGF also expressed the government’s commitment to allocate the Special Intervention Fund (SIF) in the 2023 national budget for the establishment of the Vulnerable Groups Fund (VGF).

“No family in Nigeria has survived financially by caring for their own cancer patients.

Therefore, the health of our people is the first of our priorities despite the conflicting demands”, he stated.

During his promotional visit to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the Minister commended the unique role WHO is playing in the health sector in Nigeria and appreciated its strong commitment and steadfastness to improve health care for all Nigerians at all times.

Earlier, the mission had visited the NHIA headquarters, where Professor Sambo said that although Nigeria has operated health insurance for the last twenty-three years with low citizen coverage because it was not mandatory, the new law has the potential to accelerate the achievement of universal health.

Coverage for all Nigerians.

The NHIA Director General added that WHO’s support so far has been crucial and that the Mission is the first of its kind in the organization’s history.

“I have been reliably informed that this is the first high-level mission to the National Health Insurance Scheme Authority now since its inception and I have no doubt that this commitment from the highest and best financing experts in the WHO health will produce credible results.

It cannot be denied that health is one of the critical elements of development.

With the new law and implementation modalities, the NHIA is ready to soon achieve universal health coverage for all Nigerians,” he stated.

The Mission also met with the Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe, the Chairman of the House Health Services Committee, the Honorable Tanko Sununu, the Director General of the Budget, Dr. Ben Akabueze , and Key Partners for Health Development in Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the NHIA bill into law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in May 2022.

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