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UHC milestone in Nigeria as Kwara State launches health insurance for all

The journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria is a step closer with the launch of mandatory health insurance for every person living in the state of Kwara. This significant milestone allocates Government funds to pay the premiums of the poor and vulnerable in society as full subsidies.

  • Jul 12, 2018

The process began in 2007 with the Kwara Community Based Health Insurance Scheme has led to a state-wide insurance scheme in just over ten years. The successful transition has been enabled by the work of PharmAccess in 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.

Following the launch on July 12th, the State will immediately commence the implementation of the scheme with support from the PharmAccess Foundation and USAID through the Saving Lives at Birth (SLAB) initiative. It is hoped that the delivery of services to people enrolled in the scheme will commence in August, 2018.

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.”

Kama Rogo, Lead Health Sector Specialist with the World Bank said, “By giving each Kwaran a Health Insurance card the Government is empowering residents to enjoy quality healthcare.” The Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nigeria, Michel Deelen, was also present at the event, saying, “We have supported the State from the onset of the Community Based Health Insurance Scheme and we are happy it has blossomed into a state wide mandatory scheme.”

These sentiments were echoed the Executive Secretary of the Kwara Health Insurance Agency, Dr Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter who said “it was time to bring affordable health care to the people of Kwara state”.

Kwara State, located in the North Central Geopolitical Region of Nigeria, has a population of 3.1 million people, with over 70% of its inhabitants from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Working together with the PharmAccess Foundation, the Kwara State Government is able to provide financial protection to its residents and provide access to quality healthcare to those for whom it would not ordinarily have been possible.