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We are proud to announce that the Kwara State Health Insurance program has been shortlisted for the 2016 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards in the category Achievement in Sustainable Development: Maternal & Infant Health.

The Kwara State Health Insurance program is built on a public-private partnership between the private insurer Hygeia Community Health Care, the Kwara State Government, the Health Insurance Fund and PharmAccess Foundation. The program, set up with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been running since 2007 and has delivered tangible results in terms of improved maternal and child healthcare in one of the poorest states in Nigeria.

Maternal and child careKwara data
Nigeria has 2% of the world’s population but accounts for 14% of global maternal deaths and 23% of malaria cases. Nigeria’s maternal mortality (814 per 100,000 live births) rates among the highest in the world due to insufficient assistance at birth, compromised hygiene in hospitals and poorly trained midwives anddoctors. Many never celebrate their fifth birthday (under-five mortality is 109 per 1,000 births).

The program aims to improve access to affordable healthcare for low-income households through complementary initiatives on both the demand and the supply side, including subsidized health insurance and stimulating investments in quality of care, such as upgrading healthcare facilities and implementing quality standards and improvement plans. Rigorous scientific and operational research has led to improvements to the program as well as insights into the impact of the program, such as a significant reduction in out-of-pocket spending on healthcare and an improvement in health outcomes.

Kwara State has shown an impressive rise in women giving birth in hospital, including women who aren’t in the health insurance program: hospital deliveries rose from 50% in 2009 to 70% in 2013, an increase which can be attributed to the program. World Bank data show that, since the start of the program, Kwara has become the second-best performing Nigerian state in maternal and child care.

FT/IFC Transformational Business Award
The FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards recognize ground-breaking, long-term private sector solutions to key development issues. This year, the awards attracted 155 entries from 219 stakeholders, involving projects in 92 countries.

The Kwara State Health Insurance program is one of the five nominees in the category Achievement in Sustainable Development: Maternal & Infant Health. The award ceremony will take place after the FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference in London on 9 June 2016, a major gathering of thought leaders who will explore and debate the issues generated by the awards.