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100 million People Become Poor Yearly Through Out-of-Pocket Health Spending-Expert

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100 million People Become Poor Yearly Through Out-of-Pocket Health Spending-Expert

BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto

No fewer than 100 million people join the poverty curve each year across the globe because of out of pocket spending on health, Mr Martins Eke has said.

Martins who is the Programme Manager, Center for Social Justice, (CSJ) Abuja spoke in a one day validation meeting of the policy brief on full implementation of the National Health Insurance Authority Act (NHIA) n Sokoto.

While noting that, “Right to Health”” must be guaranteed at all times, Martins said over 930 million people globally spent at least 10 percent of their household income on health care, with half of the world’s population not having access to the health services they needed.

This therefore, according to him explains why the United States Agency for International Development  with the support of the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement Program (USAID-SCALE) is executing project titled, “”Improving the Realization of the Right to Health in Nigeria””. 

The Right to Health program is anchored by CSJ and comprises of 8 credible civil society organizations working in the health sector with Center for People’s Health, Peace and Progress (3Ps) being a cluster member that is championing their activities in Sokoto state towards improving the implementation of the state health insurance scheme. 

 Right to Health program is implemented in Abuja and 7 focal states of Sokoto, Adamawa, Nasarawa, Imo, Ekiti, Bauchi and Rivers with the goals of contributing to improvements in the realization of the right to health in Nigeria through enhancing respect for extant laws and policies, reforming laws and policies as well as mainstreaming transparency  and accountability in public health sector expenditures. 

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Continuing, Mr Martins maintained that, the one day validation meeting also looked at ways of effective implementation of the compulsory health insurance coverage, steps to implement the recommendations to Sokoto in the Assessment Report of ,”States of Primary Health Care Service Delivery In Nigeria” start ND deepen sensitization on the benefits of Health Coverage, simplify the cost benefit analysis of Health insurance plans and reduce the bottlenecks of Registering and enrolling under the scheme.

Other benefits of the meeting also include to improve and optimize the expected benefits of health insurance coverage to retain enrollees, deploy the best human resources in the management of Sokoto State Contributory Health Management Agency, provide incentives for compliance by enrollees and other stakeholders  as well as reduce extreme poverty, restructure the economy for productivity and value addition. 

“””‘Health insurance allows for equity in financing health care, facilitate the implementation of the minimum core obligation of the state, reduce financial burden on the government, allows for sustainability and credibility of the health financing, and also provide a whole of society approach to health. 

“”The essence of health insurance also help to building block for vibrant and healthy population, becomes means of poverty eradication, reduce inequality and uplift the low strata of the society””‘. Martin’s submitted. 

He further divulged that discussions towards establishing a Health Insurance Development Bank of Nigeria is already building momentum, Martins decried that patients often times do not know the rights they are entitled to. 

Speaking earlier in her welcome address, Cecelia Seemed, Sokoto State Executive Coordinator of 3Ps said the draft policy towards health insurance in Sokoto is meant to improve health coverage.

She further added that health is everybody’s business and  not just those in the ministry of health, hence the need for all to embrace the implementation of health insurance scheme. 

“‘The target is to ensure universal health coverage in Sokoto. This means receiving the services required, at the set time and with no financial hardship””.  

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