Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria

Some see health care as a fundamental right, while others see it as a commodity. Universal health care (UHC) has progressed from an ambition to a reality in most industrialized countries in just over a century, but not all. However, for many people, particularly in poor countries, it remains a pipe dream. Never before has it been so insecure for those who have it. 

According to the World Health Organization, at least half of the world’s population still lacks access to basic health care. As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the global commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been reaffirmed (SDGs). 

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality health care without facing financial hardship. 

Having to pay for health care pushes about 100 million people into extreme poverty each year, including 11 million Africans. 77.2% of the Individual populations in Nigeria continue to rely on out-of-pocket healthcare spending]. A slew of obstacles and problems stand in the way of universal health coverage, many of which are unique to Nigeria and the West African area, such as the challenges posed by political instability and the recent Covid-19 pandemic. However, some challenges are universal, and via global and regional research, information gathering, financial investment, and technical assistance, global support can help speed the accomplishment of UHC. 

Improving infrastructure, training the healthcare staff, increasing the number and quality of health facilities from hospitals to local clinics, developing information systems, and assuring the availability of drugs and medical technologies are all important parts of establishing UHC. 

UHC is a significant step in the direction of social inclusion and equity. Many nations are making progress toward universal health coverage, with most low- and middle-income countries, including Nigeria, creating and executing measures to ensure that their entire population has access to high-quality essential health care. Exempting populations from user fees; community-based and national health insurance schemes aimed at reducing out-of-pocket spending; and initiatives aimed at scaling up and improving access to maternal, new-born, and child healthcare (MNCH), among other things, are among the activities taking place across the region. 

With this in mind, the NSSF is actively supporting initiatives aimed at improving the wellbeing of Nigerians by making healthcare accessible to the vulnerable population all in a bid to help the country fully recover from the effects of Covid-19. Learn how here.

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