The race is on

From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, Community Health Worker (CHW) programmes that are connecting people with various needs to the health services they require, close to where they live, are being implemented – combining trust, expertise, action, and impact. 

Throughout the four-day (April 19 – 22, 2021) second Institutionalising Community Health Conference (ICHC 2021), four heads of global health agencies (UNICEF, WHO, UNAIDS, and USAID), various Ministers of Health, several panellists and participants overwhelming agreed that Community Health (CH) is the foundation for primary care/primary health care and the main pathway towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC). 

As Dr Shannon Hader, Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS said at the opening plenary: 

A New Dawn for Social Health Insurance in Nigeria

More money for health…and more health for the money

The news that a movement for the establishment and implementation of State Social Health Insurance Schemes (SSHIS) – as a way of providing better access to health services for the entire population in Nigeria – is starting to take root is cheering to both Nigerians and friends of the nation.

Though the 36 states, which have considerable political and financial autonomy have been clamouring for a greater role in the affairs of issues related to health insurance in the country, the emergence of SSHIS is largely ascribed to a new policy environment that is favourable to participation of states. The National Health Act (NHAct) No. 8 of 2014 that stipulated a Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) into which at least 1% of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) would accrue, intends to use 50% of this fund to provide a basic minimum package of health services to citizens in eligible primary and secondary health care facilities through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). The National Council on Health (NCH), which also derives its authority from the NHAct as the highest policy making body in Nigeria on matters related to health, has directed states to set up SSHIS through which the BHCPF would be disbursed by the NHIS.

Prior to this time, other than having some of their health facilities serve as providers of the NHIS, states were left out in the scheme of things, since the law (Decree 35 of 1999) setting up this national health insurance programme failed to assign relevant roles to them. States were required to enrol their employees in the NHIS-administered social health insurance programme for federal government workers, in addition to mobilising their citizens to join the NHIS programme. On the contrary, most states preferred a decentralised system that gives them the right to manage their contributions and that of their residents by establishing and administering their own



Nollywood is Nigeria’s answer to Hollywood, Bollywood and all the woods of this world. Thanks to rare ‘native intelligence’ combined with common sense.

The fact that doing any type of business in an emerging economy such as Nigeria is a daunting task needs not to be over emphasized. Apart from lack of basic infrastructure – reliable power supply, good roads and transport facilities etc; there is wide spread corruption and bureaucratic incompetence. Although Nigeria with its over 150 million people could be the largest market in Sub-Saharan and indeed the biggest economy with the recent rebasing of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the vast majority (over 60%) of this population is said to live at the bottom of the income pyramid. So, how do you create and grow an industry for home movies in such a difficult environment?

This was the sort of

Absence of Health Insurance Markets will impede Universal Health Coverage

Irrespective of the scale of operation or model adopted, unless a market for health insurance is well established – it would be very difficult for health insurance to take proper root in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as a viable financing mechanism for healthcare. A health insurance market occurs when individuals and insurance companies communicate with each other to buy and sell health insurance. On the demand side – individuals who wish to buy health insurance do so in order to maximize their

Health Insurance: making the Informal Formal


In his book Africa Rising, Vijah Mahajan portrayed the African economy as the 10th largest in the world, but often underestimated due to the large size of the informal economy. More like a parallel economy (almost 50% of GDP), the International labour Organisation in Geneva, estimated that the informal sector also accounts for over 70% of employment in Africa.

Over the years, policy makers and practitioners have had great challenges in making health insurance services available to this group

Universal Health Coverage: how health insurance may help

In as much as health insurance shows great promise in improving financial access to healthcare, its ability to promote fairness (equity) is limited by the economic capacity of the population. For this reason, national health insurance programmes in many sub-Saharan African counties have only succeeded in reaching a relatively small formal sector, while community-based pre-payment schemes targeting rural and urban low-income households are yet to be scaled-up for impact.

Theoretically, there is an assumption that it is possible to attain universal health coverage (UHC) by making health insurance coverage mandatory. While this is yet to be fully tested even with the ongoing experiments in the United States of America with