Senate President Canvass for Health Insurance Scheme to Informal Sector
The President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki has said that one of the strategies to achieve Universal Health coverage was to provide health insurance scheme to the informal sector in the country.
Saraki spoke in Abuja when he met with World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti accompanied by the Hon. Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of State for Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and other top management staff of the Federal Ministry of Health.
The President of the Senate said “the Universal Health Coverage is something that is in my heart, I remember when I was a Governor of Kwara state, I introduced informal health insurance scheme to those who are unemployed in rural areas, I’ve always believed that the formal sector can take care of themselves”.
Saraki acknowledged the support of WHO to Nigeria and assured the Regional Director for Africa that the National Assembly would continue to provide reasonable budgetary allocation to the health sector.
Speaking on polio, he said National Assembly would provide adequate funding for surveillance all over the country so as to sustain the tempo until Nigeria is declared a Polio free country by 2017.
The WHO Regional Director for Africa also met with Speaker of the House of Representative Hon. Yakubu Dogara. During the meeting, Dogara said that the House of Representatives was already committed to the qualitative and universal healthcare delivery to Nigerians.
He said no one doubts the importance of quality and accessible healthcare to the citizenry, in most cases the vicious cycle of poverty is traceable to lack of adequate and efficient healthcare delivery system. “If somebody is sick, he cannot be productive, he can neither earn income, no save money and he therefore remains poor”.
He assured the WHO Regional Director for Africa that the House of Representatives would continue to support the Nigeria health agenda aimed at improving healthcare system to all Nigerians.
In her remarks at the Senate President and Speaker’s office, the WHO Regional Director for Africa
Dr. Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti urged the leadership of the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly to give high priority to the health sector in allocation of national resources.
She said that Nigeria was recently delisted from polio endemic country but yet to be certified as a polio free country; therefore it is important to intensify surveillance to ensure that there are no threats of polio all over the country to enable the WHO certify Nigeria polio free country.
Earlier, the Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said that the WHO agenda was similar to Nigerian Health Agenda which is commitment to implement Universal Health Coverage in Africa, reducing inequality in accessing healthcare system and also to strengthen the system towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Minister said that Nigerian constitutes 25 % of African population and her success means great success in the whole of the Africa region.
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