Still on the NHIS


No doubt this is now one of the most important issues in health care provision in Nigeria…the Nigerian press is just picking this up.

Please read this excellent piece on the NHIS by Rueben Abati in the Guardian. 
Except – Without any doubt, the NHIS over which so much air has been split is a programme for the elites. Providing a non-discriminatory, broad-based healthcare opportunity for all Nigerians should be the overriding objective. There is a lot to be done. Health workers need to be motivated to take their jobs more seriously and to be interested in serving Nigeria, not a foreign land whose attraction are the better conditions that it promises. Governments at all levels must assign more funds to the growth of the health sector with international standards in mind. Special attention must be paid to colleges of medicine, teaching hospitals and health related institutions to ensure quality training of medical personnel. A lot more energy should also be devoted to public enlightenment and the creation of social safety nets. People need to know what health insurance is all about: are they entitled to discounts? Is there a linkage between lifestyle choices and health insurance packages? Can they make choices and if so, what kind of choices? DETAILS HERE 

Sulaimon Olanrewaju in the Tribune
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is set to ensure that all Nigerians enjoy health insurance coverage by 2015. According to the Executive Secretary, MBW Dogo-Muhammad, all hands are on deck to ensure that 40 per cent of the entire country is covered by 2013. DETAILS HERE

Chinyere Amalu in the Vanguard

The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has registered over 4 million Federal Civil Servants and their dependants while the scheme has provided health cover for over 600,000 pregnant women and children under-five in six selected states in the country. DETAILS HERE

Roland Ogbonnaya in Thisday
There have been challenges. Challenges of lack of working data, funds and lack of political will by state governments as well as local councils. “After operating the scheme for four years, we discovered that NHIS was working without data. This has been corrected and we feel that if Nigerians are healthy, the country will be productive; we believe it is doable. We don’t have monopoly of ideas, we listen to complains and suggestions as well as threats and how the programme is doing. All these is to make us work better,” NHIS executive secretary said. DETAILS HERE

The worry here is that unlike in other countries where this would be on top of the political agenda, this is being discussed on the fringes…


…meanwhile if you want to find out more…you cannot go to the NHIS website because this is what you will find Maintenance work! This site is undergoing maintenance. We will be right back. Thank you.”

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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