At least 52.4 percent of the population of people in Osun State are vulnerable and required urgent social protection to continue to live normal life.
This was revealed in the recent Core Diagnostics for Action conducted by United States Agency for International Development – Health Finance Governance (USAID-HFG) project.
The Executive Secretary of Osun Health Insurance Scheme (O’HIS), Dr Niyi Oginni, while speaking at a 3-day intensive training organized by USAID-HFG said the situation was worrisome.
The training on operationalization of the health insurance schemes was attended by officials of Osun Health Insurance Scheme and Abia State Social Health Insurance Agency.
Oginni said the introduction of the social insurance scheme in the state by Governor Rauf Aregbesola became very imperative given the huge population of people that are vulnerable in the state and assured that the scheme would cater for the vulnerable adequately when fully operational.
According to him, “the Core Diagnostics for Action conducted by USAID-HFG project indicated that 34.0 of Osun population are indigent people, four percent are elderly, one percent are pregnant women, 12 percent are children under five years, one percent are widows and 0.001 percent are Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Our insurance scheme will benefit all these people.”
Dr Niyi Oginni and his Abia state counterpart, Dr Chidi Ubani commended USAID – HFG for organising the workshop and assured that the lessons learnt would be applied in their respective state so as to achieve the goal.
The Chief of Party of USAID Health Finance Governance (HFG) project, Dr Gafar Alawode in his presentations spoke extensively on “health financing within the overall health system” and “understanding the concept of universal health coverage”.
He expressed worry that Nigeria has not attained the expected level in spite of its status as the giant of Africa. He said health insurance scheme is a necessary mechanism to achieve the universal health coverage.
He also noted that if the citizens pay tax appropriately and government utilize the money judiciously, more fund should go to the health sector and the healthcare delivery will improve.
Alawode charged the Osun Health Insurance Scheme (O’HIS) and Abia State Social Health insurance Agency (Abia SHIA) to ensure that the schemes cover majority of the people, particularly the rural dwellers and the downtrodden.
The Chief of Party of USAID-HFG project, Dr Gafar Alawode making his presentations during the workshop in Osun state.
The USAID-HFG Health Finance Advisor, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo in her presentation focusing on Health Financing Functions spoke on key principles of social health insurance in developing economy.
Ngozi highlighted the ongoing health financing reforms in Nigeria and told the participants about the techniques of raising revenue for health, the need to understand the concept of risk pooling and ensuring strategic purchasing of health services.
The USAID – HFG Programme Coordinator in Osun State, Mr Ismailah Abdulkareem said the training was organized to deepen the knowledge and understanding of the participants on health financing concepts and health insurance operations.
According to him, “this workshop was organised to identity all required design element for effective implementation of Osun Health Insurance Scheme (O’HIS) and Abia State Social Health insurance Agency (Abia SHIA) and to acquaint all management staff with operation requirements and guidelines.”
He added “It is also intended to develop a comprehensive action plan for operationalization of Osun and Abia states health insurance schemes.”
“With this workshop, we hope to acquaint the management and staff of the Osun and Abia states health insurance schemes with designated organizational design and relevant rules, regulations, norms and practices of the health insurance agency,” Abdulkareem.