Population Coverage: 5 million Year Launched: 1999 Membership: Full Member

Establishing national health insurance schemes.

Nigeria adopted the Bamako Initiative to improve service equity, quality, and community participation through decentralization.

The Context

Now a government agency, NHIS covers government and private sector employees, students in tertiary institutions, and individuals who wish to contribute voluntarily into this pool. In 2013, Nigeria hosted a Presidential Summit to re-confirm governments support for the NHIS and achieving universal health coverage.

Key Reforms

In 1998 and 1999, constitutionalizing healthcare equity and quality resulted in the creation of a National Health Insurance System (NHIS).

A National Health Policy (NHP) was adopted in 2006. Among other elements, this plan included a re-designed NHIS which aimed to protect families from medically triggered financial hardship; limit rising costs; equitably distribute healthcare costs among income groups; ensure quality and efficiency; harness private sector participation; equitably distribute health facilities; and more. Crucially, to ensure coverage of different socio-economic groups, the NHIS has developed three programs: the formal sector program; informal sector program (which caters to the self-employed and rural community dwellers); and the vulnerable group program (a subsidy program that caters to pregnant women, children under 5, the unemployed, orphans, prison inmates, and the permanently disabled).

Impact: Cross-Country Knowledge Sharing

Practitioners and policymakers from Nigeria participated in their first Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) Workshop in Mombasa, Kenya in June 2011. The workshop focused on sharing creative approaches and best practices on expanding coverage. After the workshop, Nigeria became the 8th member of the JLN. Since joining three years ago, Nigeria has actively participated in the Information Technology, Quality and Primary Health Care Initiatives.

After learning about Kenya’s use of mobile telephony for registration of clients during the JLN workshop in Mombasa, Kenya, Nigeria has been exploring how to adapt Kenya’s approach to the Nigerian context. They are in the process of conducting a strategic review, and they expect that a recommendation for mobile enrollment will be included.

Country Core Group Members

Abiola Ogunenika

Ministry of Health

Modupe Ogundimu

National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigeria

Dr Jimoh Wasiu Ayodeji

Mariam Chukwuemeka

National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigeria

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