Fidelity bank banner UBA banner
Health experts want informal sector workers enrolled in health insurance scheme

By News Express on 04/07/2016

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,605

Some health experts on Sunday in Lagos called on government at all levels to develop strategies to enrol the informal sector across the country in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The experts made the call when they spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a five-day workshop on healthcare financing.

The workshop is organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Funded Health Finance and Governance (HFG) Project Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).

Other partners who collaborated are NHIS and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

The experts told NAN that the informal sector, including artisans, market women, constituted about 60 to 70 per cent of the economy’s workforce.

Dr Bukola Ayinla, a Health Financing Officer in the Lagos State Ministry of Health, said that getting those in the informal sector into an organised setting was a huge challenge.

“It is easy for countries like the U.K. to capture everybody and bring them under health insurance because they have a database and records of every resident in the country.

“For Nigeria, it is quite difficult because a large number of people who make up the informal sector are still outside the tax net; these include the artisans, market women and commercial motorcyclists otherwise called ‘Okada’ riders etc.

“It is difficult to get them into an organised setting because such people are afraid of taxation from the government.”

According to Ayinla, people in the informal sector cannot be left behind if the country is to achieve Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).

She noted that the informal sector also contributed to the health indices of the country.

“If we want our maternal mortality to reduce, if we want our infant mortality to get better, these are the people we really need to reach out to.

“For the organised private sector, some of them have their employers paying for their healthcare services.

“We know that if we do not take care of these people, they will bring down whatever improvement that has been made in the formal sector.”

Another participant, Dr Inyang Asibong, the Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, said there was need for a lot of advocacy and stakeholders’ engagement to achieve health insurance for all.

Asibong said: “Whenever you want to take money from people, no matter how small, it is going to be an issue even if it is for their benefit.

“We have a problem of preventive culture in the country; people prefer to pay for health services when they are ill no matter how expensive, rather than paying little when they are not ill.

“But we need to do a lot of advocacy, explanations and stakeholders’ engagement on why we need to get health insurance kick-started.”

Mr Lekie Dumnu of Rivers State House of Assembly, and a participant in the workshop, said there was need for collaborative efforts between the government and individuals.

Dumnu, a legislator in the Rivers, said that such collaborative efforts would help to achieve health insurance for many Nigerians.

“This workshop has taught us teamwork and it has also revealed that healthcare financing is a process towards achieving UHC.

“No government can handle it alone, no matter how rich; with the financial situation in the country, it is even more difficult.

“Individuals have to come in and collaborate with government at the federal, state and local levels with the assistance of development partners.”

In her remark, Dr Elaine Baruwa, the Country Manager, USAID funded HFG Project Nigeria, said that there was need to insure vulnerable populations, including pregnant women and under-five-year-old children.

Baruwa identified data on under-five and death of pregnant women in and around giving birth, as the main impediments to the country’s health statistics.

“Ten per cent of all women who die during delivery are Nigerian women.

“This healthcare financing approach is raising money to ensure that the most vulnerable populations are able to access care without paying for it.

“If we can make changes in the under-five mortality, provide pregnant women with healthcare before they give birth and after, then we can make a big difference in the country’s health statistics.

“Everyone will definitely see the benefit of that.” (NAN)

•Photo shows Health Minister Isaac Adewole.


Source News Express

Posted 04/07/2016 04:45:20 AM


Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+




You may also like...
OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself...

Social media giving Benue a negative image in...


8 soldiers feared dead, as militants attack gunboats...

We never named Peter Obi, Ike Ekweremadu, 21...

Fake naval officer apprehended in Enugu

HURIWA backs Kukah on due process in ant-graft...

Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge toll fees: THE JUDGE ERRED —Lagos...

Deadly virus without cure suspected of causing brain...

Only 600,000 Lagos residents pay tax out of...

Better days coming —FG

Ekiti 2018: Confusion as Accord national leadership suspends...


Latest News BREAKING: Soji Cole wins 2018 Nigeria Prize for Literature •Netherlands-based Peter Ngene carts away Science Prize 30 million youths to endorse Atiku for President — Youth Mobiliser Police raise alarm over cloned certificates, ATM cards in circulation Anambra Govt. bans church services in schools Save Lagos Group spits fire over alleged moves to impeach Ambode •Threatens to picket Lagos House of Assembly Fayemi dissolves Ekiti boards, parastatals Gov. Udom alleges plans by APC to cause violence in Akwa Ibom EFCC quizzes Abia Finance Commissioner, 4 ministry officials over alleged fraud Nnamdi Kanu is like Ojukwu, By Fredrick Nwabufo Okowa swears-in new commissioners, others •Charges political appointees 3,280 retirees approved to receive benefits in Q1 — PenCom Facebook hires ex-British Deputy Prime Minister


Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (407,585 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (382,874 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (315,212 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (257,915 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (237,782 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (224,572 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (204,360 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (185,821 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (170,555 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (166,047 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (161,696 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (149,455 views)


Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (68) Business & Economy (3,695) Business Verdict (52) Columnists (948) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (559) Features (660) Global Business Monitor (304) International (2,547) Interview (165) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (145) News (39,744) Opinion (1,125) Pidgin (13) Politics (7,300) Religion (881) Sports (1,733) Stock Watch (35) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update


NLNG Prize for Literature 2018

Zenith Zero Balance

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner





LIBYA vs NIGERIA 2-3 Goals Highlights


APO Group Partner




GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member



Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera