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Nigeria Records Low Access to Universal Health Coverage – Kakudi

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The Founder of Save a Life Cancer Awareness and Support Network described the Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria as inadequate which requires proper intervention by Federal Government to engage more informal sector in Healthcare delivery system.

Hajiya Hauwa disclosed this while speaking with journalist last week in a One Day Workshop to celebrate and advocate more on Universal Health Coverage organised by the Gem Hub Initiative, Journalists against AIDS (JAAIDS), and WACI Health.

Hajiya Hauwa gave insights to the state of UHC in Nigeria, stating that about 70% of healthcare expenditure came out-of-pocket, and that the informal sector which constituted above 70% of the nation’s population had low or no access to quality health care services.

The United Nations in 2015 established the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to ensure progress toward the development of nations. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as the SDG target 3.5 implies that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. UHC Day is celebrated every 12 December, where advocates worldwide mobilize to call for strong, equitable health systems that leave no one behind.

Advocates raise their voices and share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health and call on leaders to make smarter investments in health and remind the world about the imperative of UHC.
Government and international donor organizations increasingly acknowledge the role of civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media in strengthening health systems and advocating for accessible and quality health care.

As part of the activities to mark the UHC day, the Kano State Team of the Joint Learning Agenda for UHC organized a training on UHC, Health Financing and Budget Accountability for Media Organizations and CSOs in Kano State. Participants included; journalists, representatives of youth networks; persons with disabilities networks; CSOs working on health, social justice, and related issues; members of domestic health financing; UHC and Budget advocacy networks.

Nsikakabasi George, the Team Lead of the Joint Learning Agenda emphasized the significance of health financing in Nigeria while introducing health financing functions and achieving such in the state.

While Amb. Khadijah Bawas of the Liberty TV/Radio, while moderating the sessions stressed the role of media organizations and CSOs in promoting UHC through; citizen’s engagement, media sensitization, advocacy for timely release of budgeted health finance, reports on UHC issues, evidence-based research, and collaborations.
Primary Health Care (PHC) is the surest path to Health For All.

Governments must step up investments to unlock PHC’s potential in delivering health services when and where people need them most: right in their communities. To achieve such, UHC requires the cooperation of diverse stakeholders. Health is an investment, not a cost. Now is the time for more and better-directed investments in the foundations of health systems, Nsikabasi reiterated

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