#PHC4UHC: Nigeria’s policy experts tour primary health institutions

Group picture with the NIPSS crew after Monday's study tour.
Group picture with the NIPSS crew after Monday's study tour.

To chart a roadmap for Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, (NIPPS) is embarking on a study tour of four states in the country, to understudy their primary health systems.

The tour, which is aimed at bridging the gap between policymakers and the end recipients of government policies, commenced on Monday simultaneously in Niger and Taraba states and will last for a week. Lagos and Akwa Ibom will be visited subsequently.

The visit is coordinated by NIPSS in collaboration with the Development Research and Project Centre (DRPC).

It is also targeted at building the capacity of participants on the primary health systems as well as providing guidance on the basic minimum packages for PHCs, organisers said.

The study tour team course 41 was led by Nasirdeen Usman, the NIPPS director of studies to Niger state.

Upon arrival to the state on Monday, the team met with executives of the Niger State Contributory Health Agency (NGSCHS) and health insurance was discussed extensively.

They also met with the states Hospital’s Management Board (HMB) and the Niger State Drugs and Hospital Consumables Management Agency. They equally toured the state’s medical drug centre.

NIPPS

NIPPS is Nigeria’s policy formation centre for bureaucrats, private sector leaders, army officers, medium-rank and senior civil servants. It was founded in 1979.

Many policymakers in Nigeria have attended the NIPSS. Notable among them are ex-military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida, and Nuhu Ribadu, a former anti-corruption chief.

Each year, the institute develops a policy plan for the country. It reports directly to the Nigerian president and is supervised by the vice president.

This year, NIPPS has a mandate of charting a roadmap that will help the country achieve UHC through better funding mechanism.

“At the end of this study tour, we will come up with recommendations and strategies that will be conveyed to the president as a pathway to achieving UHC,” D. L Sanda, a NIPPS delegate, had said three weeks ago at the introductory phase of the tour in Abuja.

The event is coming barely a month after PREMIUM TIMES reported that NIPPS and DRPC led the Nigerian delegation for theAfrica Health Agenda International Conference 2019 (AHAIC) which held in Rwanda.

The conference was centred on how African countries can achieve UHC by 2030.

Achieving UHC by 2030 is the central target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3.8.

Targets of SDG 3 include ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under five years of age by 2030.

However, five children under five years of age are still dying from preventable causes every five minutes in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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