Use National Health Act to fast track UHC, Anthropologist tells FG

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A Social Anthropologist, Abieyuwa Abel, has called on the Federal Government to use the National Health Act (NHA), 2014, to fast track Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria.

Abel made the call in an interview with the press in Abuja.

On December 12, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) unanimously endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward UHC.

The idea was that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care as an essential priority for international development.

In 2014, the UN started to observe Dec. 12 as UHC Day to commemorate the date on which the General Assembly officially recognised the importance of UHC.

The theme of the 2019 UHC Day was ‘Keep the Promise.’

The social anthropologist said that the NHA was a viable framework, the implementation of which could help the country and its people achieve UHC.

“This Act sets the background to earmark adequate public resources to health towards strengthening primary health care through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

Fifty per cent of the fund will be managed by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to ensure access to a minimum package of health services for all Nigerians.

Forty-five per cent of the fund will be deployed to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCA), for primary health-care facility upgrade and maintainable provision of essential drugs, and deployment of human resources to primary health-care facilities.

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) will manage the remaining five per cent for national health emergency and response to epidemics.

Counterpart funding from state and local governments is at the core of the National Health Act implementation,” she said.

 

L.Nasir