By: Annabel Nwachukwu
The States Social Health Insurance Scheme has enrolled 5.5 million Nigerians accounting for 50% of the total number of enrollees in the last five years.
The Chairman forum CEOs of States Social Health Insurance Agencies in Nigeria, Dr. Simion Onyemaechi, made this known at the 2024 quarterly review meeting of the Forum in Abuja.
Dr Onyemaechi, explained that the quarterly review meeting was aimed at Sharing practical success stories of the health insurance scheme for states lagging behind to emulate for a better health insurance coverage and to enhance the efforts in achieving Universal Health Coverage.
‘’By providing access to quality healthcare services, the schemes have contributed to the reduction of preventable diseases, improved maternal and child health, and better management of chronic conditions.
“This, in turn, has positively impacted the overall health and well-being of Nigerians, leading to increased productivity and economic growth,” he maintained.
The Chairman of the Forum named major states that had succeeded in the state health insurance scheme to include Lagos, Anambra, Oyo, Delta, Gombe, Yobe, Katsina, Imo and Edo states.
Despite these achievements, Dr. Onyemaechi stressed that access to affordable healthcare remains a formidable challenge for many Nigerians, primarily due to widespread poverty and significant reliance on out-of-pocket payments.
However, he said to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of state-led Health Insurance initiatives, adopting various critical measures was imperative.
The Executive Secretary National Health Insurance Authority, NHIA, Dr. Kelechi Ohiri promised to support the efforts of state health insurance agencies not just as a regulator but as a strategic partner.