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Options partners FG on universal health coverage for Nigerians

 leading global health organization, Options, has partnered with the federal government, states and other partners to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for Nigerians. The Regional…

 leading global health organization, Options, has partnered with the federal government, states and other partners to ensure Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for Nigerians.

The Regional Director, Options Consultancy Services, Dr Ufuoma Festus Omo-Obi, stated this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the 30th anniversary of the organization in Nigeria.

He said data from the World Bank currently shows that out-of-pocket expenditure on health in the country is at 70%, adding that the attainment of UHC would ensure all Nigerians can access essential quality health services without financial hardships.

He said achieving sustained progress of the UHC in Nigeria costs money and would require significant efforts at federal, state and local government levels to increase resources available and ensure that they are used as efficiently and equitably as possible.

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The regional director said until Nigerians begin to demand better health services, political leaders would not invest adequately in health.

According to him, one example is the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF), which has been identified as one of the single most viable health financing policy thrusts in recent history.

He said some interventions provided by Options to scale up health service delivery in Nigeria include increased facility funding through advocacy efforts in Lagos, Bauchi and Niger; and provision of technical leadership to develop a costed Implementation Plan for Childbirth Spacing (2021 2023) in Kano.

Dr Omo-Obi also said Options would commemorate its 30th anniversary with a high level panel titled ‘From vision to reality – unlocking health prosperity and universal health coverage in Nigeria’ on September 6 in Abuja, to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities in achieving universal health care (UHC) for all by the year 2030.

He said it would be co-chaired by Prof. Mohammed Sambo, Director General of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and Prof. Oladapo Ladipo, President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), and other prominent thought leaders, policymakers, funders, local and international organizations, government officials and stakeholders from the health sector.

Dr Moshood Salawu, Senior maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response (MPDSR) Advisor of Options said the organisation helped pioneer a digital MPDSR system in Lagos state, and also supported the introduction of MPDSR system in Kaduna, which contributed to reducing preventable maternal and neonatal deaths, among others.

The immediate past executive secretary of the Imo State Health Insurance Agency, Dr John Onyeokoro, said the federal government must honour all its international commitments in order to bridge the gap in local resource mobilization.

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