……Two deliveries taken in one day in Sakwaya PHC
The implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) has began in earnest in Jigawa State.
At the ceremony to mark the flag off of enrollment of beneficiaries, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Mohammed Sambo said that at least 20m Nigerians were being targeted annually to be brought under health insurance nationwide over the course of ten years, noting that the BHCPF was part of the overall effort to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
Sambo noted that the BHCPF which is provided for in section 11 of the National Health Act of 2014 guarantees the application of 1% of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for funding of primary health care, adding that the programme will ensure that the vulnerable population have affordable access to minimum health care.
According to Sambo, the commencement of enrollment of beneficiaries under the BHCPF is a strong indication of the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to tenets of the next level agenda on health, noting that the implementation of the National Health Act, signed into law in 2014, only began under the watch of the current administration in 2019.
Sambo, who was one time consultant to World Bank
projects in the state, stressed that the Scheme which is one of the implementing agencies of the fund was now properly positioned and equipped to provide effective oversight of the programme guided by the ongoing reforms of its operations.
Speaking at the occasion, the governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar who was represented by his deputy Malam Umar Namadi said that the commencement of enrollment was an important milestone in the pursuit of quality health care for citizens of the state, maintaining that the state government was committed to raising the health indices of its population.
Namadi who retired from NHIS as General Manager in 2014 stated that the Jigawa State government had granted sponsorship to 60 citizens of the state to study medicine in China to bridge the human resource gap in the health care delivery system of the state, adding that a second batch of trainees are waiting in line to benefit from the medical course.
Speaking earlier, the permanent secretary of the state ministry of health, Dr Salisu Muazu said that 420 people would be registered at the occasion to signal the start off while enrollment will be conducted throughout the 279 political wards in the state, stressing that the state was fully prepared to ensure that people at the grassroots are impacted by the programme.
For his part, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Contributory Health Care Management Agency, Dr Nura Ibrahim said that the state began draw funding under the programme since 2019, adding that over N500m had so been received by the state.
While expressing optimism at the positive prospects of the programme, the Executive Secretary of the Jigawa State Primary Health Development Agency (JSPHCDA) Dr Kabiru Ibrahim said that the Sakwaya Primary Health Centre (PHC) where the event held took delivery of two babies under the programme on the eve of the launching.
Jigawa is the third state in the series of launching under the BHCPF after Cross River and Bauchi in the last one week.