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NHIS to extend health insurance to informal sector

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Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS),


says the scheme is working with State Social Health Insurance Scheme (SSHIS) to extend health insurance coverage to informal sector of the population.

Sambo told Nigeria News Agency in Abuja that NHIS currently covered enrolees under its formal sector programmes and the voluntary social

health insurance arrangement.

The Formal Sector Programme covers workers in the public sector (Federal Civil Service, Uniformed Services) while the voluntary scheme is under

Voluntary Contributors Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP).

According to him, no fewer than four million are registered under the scheme as population of the enrolees is still growing.

He said that a new scheme had been developed under the National Health Insurance Act called Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPF)

for citizens that were not covered under the formal programme.

He explained that “BHPF is where money coming to the NHIS and the money is related to the state health insurance to purchase healthcare services for the defined segment of the nation.’’

He added that NHIS provided support to 17 state governments through the BHPF to enrol their vulnerable citizens, noting that

part of the mandate of the scheme was to support states to establish SSHIS and also provide some fund for them to enrol vulnerable population.

He said “but if you look at what is required to provide services, even the contribution from the national healthcare insurance as laudable as it is, will not cover majority segment.

“It will not cover those vulnerable segments of the population.

“ So, a lot has to be done through innovative financing healthcare mechanism so as to get more funding to cover those who are uncovered in the national health insurance scheme.

“This is not an easy task but we are facing it squarely to develop the matrix, to bring all the stakeholders on board to be able to do appropriate costing.

“The stakeholders need do appropriate costing that will be required to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and determine how money will be sourced to cover the entire population.”

In addition, Sambo said, stakeholders could adopt the Health Insurance Under One Roof concept as veritable tool for the attainment of UHC in the country.

Health Insurance Under One Roof is an initiative aimed at ensuring that health insurance operates under one system with proper coordination and unified data to reduce bottlenecks in service delivery.

This is in line with the expectations and objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Presidential Mandate and particularly the Health Sector Next Level Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The concept is designed to provide a coordinating and regulating framework for the implementation of health insurance in Nigeria, thereby bringing to an end the fragmentation of the past in a decentralised ecosystem.

It will bring an end to fragmentation of the past which militated against tangible progress in rapid enrolee uptake toward Universal Health Coverage.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu



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Olawale Olukoga: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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COVID-19: Health journalists advise FG against accepting medical team from China

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Mr Hassan Zaggi, President of Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ), has advised the Federal Government against accepting medical team from China to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.


Zaggi, who gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, said that Nigerian health experts could handle COVID-19.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had on Friday at Ministerial Press briefing on COVID-19 announced that 18-man team of Chinese medical experts would soon be coming to support the country.

The medical team, comprising doctors, nurses and public health advisers, are coming to the country courtesy of a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria.

“We appreciate China for accepting to come and support our effort in containing COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“However, in my opinion, I don’t think we need them; we do not need China.

“As it is now, our health experts are not overwhelmed; they are doing well as far as I am concerned in handling the pandemic in Nigeria.

“Even though our confirmed COVID-19 cases are rising on a daily basis, however, when you also take a cursory look at the efforts of our medical experts, you will discover that they are doing well.’’

Zaggi noted that some medical experts and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had earlier called on the government to take a different approach in combating the disease.

He said that even though the Chinese doctors had some experience in handling COVID-19 because it originated from them, Nigerian doctors had been doing exceptionally well in managing the situation here.

“The only thing the Federal Government needs to do is to provide the enabling environment for our medical and health professionals in the country.

“There should be incentives that will motive them to put in their best.

“Considering the risk involved in managing the COVID-19, our medical experts should be given life insurance and good allowances, bearing in mind that they are currently working 24/7,’’ he said.

Zaggi expressed optimism that medical experts in the country which treated Ebola would do their best in curbing the pandemic.

“As I mentioned earlier, our medical experts only need enabling environment and motivation; with well equiped health facilities and secured environment, our medical team have the capacity to do wonders at this crucial moment.

“ANHEJ is excited with level of financial and material support coming from wealthy Nigerians, corporate organisations, including religious bodies, for fight against the COVID-19,’’ he said.

The official, however, called on the Federal Government to ensure the judicious use of the funds, block all avenues of wastages, misappropriation and even outright embezzlement

“State governments should also mobilise similar funds in their various states so that they can be fully prepared for any eventuality.

“States that are yet to record COVID-19 cases should tighten all loose areas and entry points and ensure that they sustain the tempo and continue to remain without a case.

“ They should prepare in case the unexpected happens,’’ he said

Zaggi also urged the Federal Government to recruit more hands to assist in contact tracing of all those who are suspected to have had contact with any suspected cases.

“I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to support all initiatives put forward by the government at both the federal and state levels in an effort to halt the spread of the disease.

“With our collective support and cooperation, very soon, COVID-19 will be a thing of the past,’’ he said.

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

 



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COVID-19: Africa death toll hits 383, as cases rise to 8,596 – WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, says there are now 8, 596 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on African continent with 383 deaths.


The UN’s health agency gave the update on its official twitter account @WHOAFRO.

“Africa now has a total of 8,596 confirmed cases, 383 deaths and 792 recovered from 51 Countries.

“Number of cases continue to rise on the African continent with 8,377 cumulative cases reported.

“Algeria and Cameroon have reported a sharp case increase in past 24 hours,’’ it stated.

Algeria had on Saturday reported 986 cases and 83 deaths while Cameroon confirmed 306 cases with seven deaths.

The agency said South Africa currently had the highest in the region with 1, 585 cases and nine deaths, followed by Algeria 1,251 cases with 130 deaths and Cameroon has 555 confirmed cases with nine deaths.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has 232 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 33 patients had been discharged with five deaths as at 9:30 p.m on Sunday

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.

The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing.

You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (one meter or three feet) with people who are unwell.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

 

 

 

 



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Nigeria records 8 new COVID-19 cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed eight new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.


Five of the cases are in Lagos State, two in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and one in Kaduna State,  according to the NCDC.

It brings to 232, the number of  confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. 

The NCDC made the disclosure through its verified Twitter account.

It said that as at 09:30p.m. on Sunday, there were 232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

It said that  33 patients had been discharged, while  five deaths had been recorded.

The NCDC said that

the number of confirmed cases were 120 in Lagos, 47 in Abuja, nine in Oyo State,

20 in Osun,  four in Ogun and  five in Kaduna.

It said that

Enugu had two cases, Akwa Ibom, five; Edo, nine;

Bauchi, six; 

Ekiti, two, while Rivers, Benue

 

and Ondo states had one case, each

.

Meanwhile, the centre has said that

 it has not engaged brand ambassadors as part of its responses to COVID-19.

“We continue to emphasise that all Nigerians maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We may not immediately know who is infected with COVID-19.

“Keeping social distance by staying two metres away from people, especially someone coughing or sneezing, can help

  to

prevent the spread of COVID-19,” it said. 

 

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ijeoma Popoola
(NAN)



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LASG discharges another 5 COVID-19 patients, advises against stigmatisation

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Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has confirmed the discharge of another five patients who previously tested positive to COVID-19, advising the public against stigmatising them.


Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure through his verified Twitter handle @jidesanwolu on Sunday in Lagos.

The governor advised that everyone should collaborate to support the discharged COVID-19 patients to get over their experiences as soon as possible.

“Today, I am happy to inform you that five more patients, comprising two males and three females, including a 10-year-old girl have tested negative twice to #COVID19.

“These five patients have been discharged to reunite with their families.

“This brings to a total of 29 the numbers of patients who have fully recovered and have been discharged from our facility at Yaba,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said there was strong indication that the state was winning the battle against COVID-19, adding that it was imperative to remain steadfast to curtail the spread.

He advised the citizens to continue to observe social distancing, while urging them to stay home, stay safe to save lives.

Sanwo-Olu appreciated the efforts of the health workers, members of the Lagos State Health Family and the Emergency Operation Centre for their hardwork.

He said that with collaborative efforts, the state government would soon win the battle against the COVID-19.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

————



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COVID-19: BNSG to distribute food items to residents – Commissioner

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Benue State Government says it will commence distribution of food items to the people to cushion the effects of the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic in the state.


The government said it would kick off distribution of the food items to the residents of the state on Thursday.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Gov. Samuel Ortom had announced the stay at home order and directed closure of markets after the state reported its index case.

The governor also announced curfew on the state from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for 14-days.

The Commissioner for Information, Mrs Ngunan Addingi, made the disclosure at the end of the Expanded State Executive Council meeting, on Sunday in Makurdi.

Adingi said the gesture was to cushion the effect of the stay at home order.

She explained that the governor also released N100 million to the State Action Committee on COVID-19, to help in the fight against the pandemic in the state.

“Out of the amount, N20 million will be used for the completion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) healthcare centre that is designated as an isolation centre,” she said.

Adingi also dispelled rumors that a Benue returnee from Ghana died of the viral disease.

“We have heard the rumour but we are yet to ascertain the cause of his death. The governor has directed that a postmortem be carried on him to ascertain the cause of death.

“Until test is carried out before we will know what killed him. We do not want to work based on assumptions,” she said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Sunday Ongbabo, enjoined Benue people not to panic and assured that the committee was working tirelessly to protect the lives of people.

“Right now, health workers are undergoing training to enable them know exactly what to do when handling COVID-19 cases.

“We want to keep Coronavirus out of Benue. I implore the people to take the preventive aspect very seriously,” he said.

Ongbabo also appealed for collaboration from relevant agencies and government organs in dishing out correct information to the public on the disease.

Edited By: Philip Dzeremo/Rabiu Sani Ali
(NAN)



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COVID-19: Katsina suspected case tests negative

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The Katsina State Government says the blood test of the suspected case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Bakori Local Government Area of the state is negative.


The Permanent Secretary, state Ministry of Health, Dr Kabir Mustapha, announced this on Sunday in Katsina.

Mustapha said that the state has just received the result of the blood test from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said that was the second suspected case of COVID-19 that tested negative in the state.

He said that by this development, the state has no single case of Coronavirus.

The Nigeria News Agency gathered that the suspect was alleged to have traveled from Lagos to his hometown in Bakori local government area of the state.

NAN reports that the state government has been taking steps to prevent possible spread of the virus in the state.

The measures are closure of schools, prohibition of social and religious gatherings, closure of state borders and media enlightenments, among others.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)



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COVID-19: LASUTH places its 3 health workers on isolation

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The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, says it has placed three of its health workers on isolation after their contact with a patient who died of COVID-19.


Dr Ibrahim Mustafa, the Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of LASUTH, made this known to the Nigeria News Agency on Sunday in Lagos.

Mustafa said that two doctors and a nurse had contact with the patient, who later died on April 3 at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos.

He said that the patient was attended to in the vehicle that conveyed him to LASUTH, thus reduced his exposure to health workers and other patients.

According to him, there was high suspicion of the patient being a COVID-19 case, and the patient was referred to LUTH due to insufficient bed space at LASUTH as at the time he was presented at the facility.

“The patient did not divulge his travel history and underlying medical conditions to the health workers, but the health workers were suspicious based on his symptoms and warning to exercise caution while attending to patients.

“The health workers that attended to the patient took necessary precautions, but based on the advice of LASUTH Infectious Diseases Consultant, the doctor and nurses that had contact with the patient had been placed on isolation,” the CMAC chairman said.

He urged the public to always volunteer accurate information about their travel history and medical conditions to health workers, toward assisting to provide right diagnosis and treatment for patients.

The CMAC said that there was need to increase sensitisation among the public that COVID-19 infection was not a death sentence, adding that volunteering information and early treatment would increase chances of recovery.

Mustafa advised health workers to continue to maintain vigilance and ensure universal precaution while attending to patients.

NAN recalls that the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had disclosed that the deceased patient was

55-year-old Nigerian male who lived in Holland, but returned to Lagos two weeks ago.

Abayomi said that the patient had a kidney transplant seven years ago, and was also diabetic.

According to him, the deceased was on strong immune suppression drugs for the kidney transplant, and was admitted at LUTH on the night of April 2, on presumption of complications from the kidney transplant.

The commissioner noted that the patient did not provide full account of his travel history or medical circumstances to the attending doctors in keeping with the global trend and to enable guided treatment for COVID-19 related vulnerability, due to severe underlying ill health.

Abayomi said that the deceased, however, demonstrated some signs of an upper respiratory chest infection.

He said that the patient later tested positive for COVID-19, but died early hours of April 3 from a cardiac arrest.

Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye
(NAN)

————–



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COVlD-19: Emir of Ilorin tasks traditional rulers on sensitisation

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The Emir of Ilorin and Chairman Kwara Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has called on members of the council to further sensitise their subjects on how to complement government effort to curtail the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The first  class traditional ruler gave the task in a statement he signed in Ilorin on Sunday.

According to him, continuous sensitisation of residents is necessary because of the rate at which the disease spread in some parts of the country.

The monarch said this was necessary in the interest of public health and safety of Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnic or social background.

The statement noted that the shutdow, would obviously cause a lot of discomfort particularly to the poor and vulnerable group in the society,

The monarch however commended the government and other philanthropists who are already taking steps to reduce hardship and support those affected or likely to be affected.

He urged all traditional rulers of all classes and grades in the state to work hard and support government efforts to protect citizens in this trying time.

Sulu-Gàmbàri also advised residents of the state to abide by all government orders in order to minimise the effect of the ongoing pandemic.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)



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COVlD-19: Kwara Govt begins distribution of palliatives

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The Kwara Government on Sunday began the distribution of various food items to vulnerable residents in all the 193 wards in the state to cushion the effect of lockdown policy to curb the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.


The Nigeria News Agency reports that the distribution of various food items had been concluded in all the 17 wards of ASA Local Government Area of the state.

Each of the beneficiaries got food items like five kilogrammes of Semovita, 10 kilogrammes of rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti, sugar and other assorted edibles.

Alhaji Bola Olojoku, the President of the Mekunnu Forum Agenda in Kwara and member of the State Committee in charge of distribution of palliatives, told NAN that cash is not among items being distributed now.

According to Olojoku, the target beneficiaries of the palliatives are widows, aged, physically challenged and artisans, among others.

He assured that the items were enough to go round the target beneficiaries in all the 195 wards of the state.

“The committee had completed the distribution in all the 17 wards of the ASA local government area and will move to the llorin West Local Government Area for the continuation of its assignment,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the Imams who lead the five daily obligatory prayers in llorin, the Pastors of churches and various community leaders have begun the compilation of names of their followers expected to benefit from the palliatives.

The list of the proposed beneficiaries from lmams and Pastors were submitted to the ALANGUA (High Chiefs) for presentation to the state committee in charge of the distribution of palliatives.

The lmam of Onilu Mosque at Okoerin road, Ilorin, Uztaz Yusuf Ismael, told NAN that he had already submitted the list of his followers to Alagua Okoerin.

Mallam Amosa Uthman, a Youth Leader in Okoerin ward of llorin West Local Government Area who spoke in similar vein, also said all names of eligible youths had been compiled.

BRLl/

Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)



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