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Momentum builds for UHC across Kenya and Nigeria in 2018

The road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa was greatly strengthened by a number of high profile developments in Kenya and Nigeria during 2018. A strong increase in enrollments of people across both countries got underway at both state and county levels, alongside strong support at political level. 2018 was truly the year when Universal Health Coverage was put center stage.

  • Dec 20, 2018

NIGERIA: Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

The year ended on a hugely positive note as the Lagos State Government launched the Lagos State Health insurance scheme in December. It was a significant step towards Universal Health Coverage for the over 20 million residents of the state. The PharmAccess team is proud to have played a significant role in the design process, including implementing the proof of concept, mirroring the Lagos State health scheme for over 12 months, proving that the use of mobile and digital technology can create access to healthcare for even the most vulnerable citizens, as well as efficiency and transparency in scheme administration.

Speaking at the launch, Country Director for PharmAccess Nigeria, Njide Ndili said, “PharmAccess Foundation is excited at the launch of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme and what it means for universal healthcare for Lagosians. Throughout our 10 year relationship with Lagos State, we have been working hard with the Government and stakeholders to provide technical assistance to make sure that the scheme is a great, sustainable and longstanding success.”

NIGERIA: Kwara State launches health insurance for all

The journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria had already taken another step closer earlier in the year. In July Kwara State  launched its mandatory health insurance scheme for every resident. It allocates Government funds to pay the premiums of the poor and vulnerable in society as full subsidies. The process began back in 2007 with the Kwara Community Based Health Insurance Scheme and led to a state-wide insurance scheme in just over ten years. The successful transition was enabled through our work supporting Kwara State, healthcare providers, and communities in creating the demand and quality standards critical for health insurance adoption among the local population. This effective collaboration cultivated the ownership and financing necessary to ensure long-term delivery of primary health care, including maternal and child health. Commenting on the launch, CEO of PharmAccess Monique Dolfing said, “We are happy that the community based health insurance scheme has grown into a statewide scheme we are launching today.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: President signs the UHC national charter

December also saw a momentous moment for the future of health access in Kenya as President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the UHC pilot program in the country. It was a huge step forward for UHC in Kenya. Our team were on the ground in Kisumu County for the announcement. For its part, PharmAccess together with its partner CarePay Kenya, has been cooperating with three of the pilot counties – Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos as well as Kakamega and Kirinyaga – to help foster, develop, and implement a county embedded model for Universal Health Care comprising the dual pillars of cover and care. Our technical partnership with Kisumu has helped facilitate all the registrations in the county – totaling 240,000 people, using the M-TIBA registration application.

KENYA: Massive UHC Registration Drive to get underway in Kisumu County, Kenya

In August, Kisumu County Government announced that it is preparing a massive registration drive to roll out UHC for all its residents. To help reach this important and ambitious aim PharmAccess was asked to assist the country’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to achieve universal health coverage by 2022. As part of the Kenyan’s government’s push towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC) over the next 5 years, all Kisumu county residents will gain access to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for comprehensive health services.

Kisumu is one of the four pilot counties for the UHC pilot and has developed an innovative healthcare model that combines access to health insurance with better quality of care. Utilizing a public-private approach, the county has partnered with PharmAccess for technical assistance. The partnership will facilitate digital registrations into NHIF, health financing, and service delivery in a cost effective and transparent way. Isaiah Okoth, Country Director, PharmAccess Kenya, says, “We share Kisumu’s commitment to unveil universal health coverage for its people while ensuring quality, accessible and affordable healthcare for the long term. From our experience, successful public-private partnerships have the potential to accelerate investment into healthcare. By harnessing the power of mobile technology through the M-TIBA platform, Kisumu is in the frontline of healthcare innovation.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: Registration drives underway in Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Machakos counties

Kirinyaga county in Kenya also kicked off its registration drive to extend universal health coverage to all eligible residents – some 124,000 households. The picture above illustrates the procedure on the ground as teams from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) use M-TIBA to register people for Universal Health Coverage.