Thursday, December 8, 2022

BHCPF To Help Nigeria Cater For Vulnerable Citizens – FG

Friendly smiling young doctor supporting older patient during visit
Friendly smiling young doctor supporting older patient during visit.

The Federal Government has revealed that the country will need N1trillion to cater for the health of its vulnerable citizens through the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF). 

The secretary of the Ministerial Oversight Committee for BHCPF, FMOH, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu said this yesterday (October 5, 2022) during the Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum in Abuja. 

At the forum, themed “Financing Primary Health Care in Nigeria – Expanding the frontiers at the Sub-National”, Isokpunwu said that the money would also enable the country to provide Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to the same category of citizens. 

He said that the BHCF allocation is based on equity, equality and the indigent community.  

Isokpunwu further said the programme would be implemented based on the poverty index of each state. 

“We need to demonstrate transparency, accountability and [show more] results to get more funding. 

To do so, he said, the BHCPF account will be audited and the disbursement of all funds published.

The global lead, health financing, World Bank Group, Nigeria, Mr. Christoph Kurowski, said that the journey of primary health care (PHC) financing in the country started over 40 years ago. 

Kurowski said that for many high-income countries, the vision is for 80 per cent of the population’s healthcare needs to be met at the primary healthcare level.

“Part of the challenge for most PHC financing is the knowledge gap, which could be knowing what to do and how to do it. 

“It is critical to understand health financing, community environment and how to tackle these issues in public health,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country director, USA’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Mary Boyd observed that it is critical to have a mechanism in place to assess a community’s health needs and ensure that people who go to PHC receive quality and equitable services.

Boyd said that PHC workers must be trained to understand data management and how it can affect public health in the country. 

Earlier, Ekiti State Commissioner for Health and Human Services and chairperson of Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum, Dr. Banji Filani stated that the PHC financing forum aims to bring together leaders at the sub-national level. 

Filani said that would enable them to explore how to advance the primary healthcare agenda in the country. 

Recall that the organisers said that the Nigeria health commissioners’ forum is the country’s community of practice and learning platform created by the 36 states’ health commissioners across Nigeria.

This year, in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) the, hosted the first collaborative event which focused on primary health care financing, particularly the role sub-national systems must play in the process.

The organiser said that primary health centres all over the world, require adequate financing and service delivery, and so is Nigeria. 

Racheal Abujah
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