By Martins Â Ifijeh
THISDAY Newspapers is set to hold the second edition of its Healthcare Policy Dialogue, tagged: â€˜The Journey to Universal Health Coverage in Nigeriaâ€™, with the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghabreyaesus and the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole headlining it.
The Summit will holdÂ 12th AprilÂ at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja byÂ 10am.
The first edition, which was heldÂ March 6Â this year, recorded a huge success with major healthcare stakeholders and policy makers charting a way forward for a workable Healthcare Financing model for the country.
This high level policy dialogue will bring together policy makers, including members of the Federal Executive Council, parliamentarians, development partners, including bi-and multi-lateral institutions, entire senior leadership of the WHO, healthcare practitioners, civil society organisations, private sector leaders, media think-tanks, academia, institutions involved in financing and delivering healthcare â€“banks, HMOs, MFIs & insurance companies, and the members of the public.
The WHO DG will be accompanied to the event by the entire senior leadership of the WHO, including the African Regional Director of WHO, Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti (the first woman to hold such position).
Ghabreyaesus will use the occasion to launch the logo and beneficiary identification card for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund of the National Health Act.
He will also be hosted at a high-level experience sharing event by the Nigerian government as the country has set in motion its universal health coverage aspirations with the launching of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund of the National Health Act under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhariof Health.
Other speakers at the THISDAY Summit include Country Director, World Bank Nigeria, Rachid Benmassoud, CEO, Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, Minister of State for Health, Osagie Ehanire, Representative of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Paulin Basinga, Representative of United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF), Mohammed Malick Fall, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, Representative of United Nations Populations Fund, (UNFPA), Diene Kieta, and Senior Rep & Mission Chief, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Amine Mati.
According to a statement to announce the policy dialogue, THISDAY Board of Directors said the theme was carefully chosen because Nigerians were in dire need of Universal Health Coverage.
â€œUniversal Health Coverage (UHC) is about ensuring that people have access to the healthcare they need without suffering financial hardship. It also helps drive better health and development outcomes. The best investment for a safer, fairer and healthier Nigeria is one where the attainment of UHC is made a moral imperative,â€ the Board noted.
Federal Ministry of Health had earlier noted that Nigeria was fully committed to the ideals espoused by the principles of universal health coverage, adding that a National Health Act signed into law in 2014 guarantees a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services for all Nigerians and also assures additional financing for the sector through the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.
Nigeria had earlier hosted a Presidential Summit in March 2014 which ended with a Declaration on Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.
Co-organisers of the Summit are the Federal Ministry of Health, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, UNFPA, and the United States Agency for International Development/HFG