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On Tuesday 21 July, 2015, the Kwara State Government, Hygeia Community Health Care, PharmAccess and the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital organized a one-day conference to share the research and lessons learned from the Kwara State health insurance program. About 450 stakeholders attended theState-Supported Health Insurance: Research & Results Day in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.

The aim of the event was to enable experts from the private sector, academia, government, non-governmental organizations and donors as well as local communities to discuss:

– the research and lessons learned from the Kwara State health insurance program;
– strategies for improving local research capacity in health financing and delivery of care;
– strategies and options for mobilizing resources for a state-supported health insurance program;
– innovative partnerships for research, advocacy and program development of state-supported health insurance.

Professor Akin Osibogun of Lagos University Teaching Hospital opened the conference, after which introductory speeches were given by Mrs. Fola Laoye (Hygeia Group), Mr. Taco Westerhuis (Royal Netherlands Embassy), Dr. Oluwole Odutolu (World Bank), Mr. Femi Akingbade (Ag. ES/CEO NHIS), Dr. Luther-King Fasehun (Wellbeing Foundation Africa), His Royal Highness Dr. Haliru Yahaya (Emir of Shonga) and the guest of honor His Excellency Dr. Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed (Executive Governor of Kwara State).

The Governor of Kwara State reaffirmed his campaign pledge, committing to expanding the Kwara State health insurance program to cover one million people. The CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) announced the NHIS’s commitment to supporting all states that are implementing state-supported health insurance to improve access to care. Finally, the Hygeia CEO emphasized the importance of building a business case for providing healthcare for low-income people.

To provide an overview of the Kwara State Health Insurance program, Hygeia Community Health Care, PharmAccess and a healthcare provider presented key aspects from their own perspectives. Thereafter, the impact of the program was illustrated by results from impact evaluations carried out by the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and theAmsterdam Institute for International Development. These results include a reduction in healthcare costs and an improvement in health outcomes. Finally, in-depth presentations on costing and impact of healthcare interventions for chronic diseases, enrollment behaviors and the research methodology made for lively discussions in the afternoon.

The Nigerian Medical Association awarded academic credit to participants of the conference.

Click here to view the conference program booklet.

Click here to read the conference report.

Impact report presented
During the conference, Kwara State Deputy Governor Elder Peter Kishira was presented with the first copy of the compendium report The Impact of Access to Quality Healthcare in Africa: Research findings on Health Insurance Fund supported programs. This report is a reflection of the continuous interaction between project implementation, evidence-based analyses, and subsequent project improvements. The recurrent learning process helps to keep the ultimate goal clearly in sight: providing affordable access to high quality healthcare for low-income households in our target areas. In addition to this report, close to 60 other reports and articles have already been produced, some of which have been published in internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals.

Kwara State Health Insurance program
Since 2007, Kwara State, Hygeia Community Health Care, Health Insurance Fund and PharmAccess have been working to improve access to quality primary health care, maternal, child and reproductive health care and treatment for malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS opportunistic infections for rural people in Kwara State. About 110,000 low-income people and their families are enrolled in the program. Both public and private primary health centers and hospitals are involved in the provision of healthcare.

The program has received international rewards and recognitions:
* Saving Lives at Birth’s 2014 People’s Choice Award for innovative approaches in scaling up maternal and child healthcare (USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UKaid, NORAD and Grand Challenges Canada)
* Finalist of OECD’s Development Assistance Committee Prize for Taking Development Innovation to Scale
* World Economic Forum 2014 – Model for Leapfrogging Health Systems
* At the Governors’ Forum in May 2011, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described it as an “innovative and ground-breaking partnership to be replicated in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa”

Results of the Kwara Health Insurance program

Kwara Results (1)