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Stakeholders to converge on Abuja for UHC Nov. 13 – Sen Oloriegbe

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Stakeholders in the health sector are to meet in Abuja on Wednesday, Nov. 13, to fashion out ways toward achieving  Universal Health Coverage(UHC), in the country, according to Sen. Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chairman, Senate Committee on Health.

Oloriegbe told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that the three-day summit would examine the implementation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF) which is key to achieving UHC in Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that President Muhammadu Buhari appropriated N55.1 billion, which is one per cent of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), to cater for the BHCPF in fulfillment of the National Health Act, 2014, in 2018.

Already, 50 per cent of the money for 2018 has been released, with the Federal Ministry of Health saying recently that it was hopeful of a hundred per cent release.

International partners such as the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and USAID are also contributing to the Fund. The brand name for this Programme is ‘HUWE’ meaning life.

According to Oloriegbe, the summit will deepen the understanding of the legislators on the concept of UHC and their roles towards achieving it.

The chairman said that the summit would map out the role of lawmakers towards the implementation of BHCPF, within the context of the National Health Act ,(NHA), 2014.

He said that it would also appraise the progress of implementation of the communique of the second Annual Legislative Summit.

Oloriegbe said that the summit would reach a consensus on the Strategic Framework for the National Legislative Health Agenda to guide the activities of the legislators for the next four years, and prioritise activities for Year 2020.

He, however, added that the summit would deliver a consensus built on Strategic Framework for the National Legislative Health Agenda, focusing on efficiency and effectiveness.

“The summit will map out a work plan for year 2020 and set a path to guide the legislators,” he said.

NAN reports that Dr Emmanuel Meribole, Director, Health Planning, Research and Statistics, recently said that 34 states had so far committed to participating in the BHCPF since Buhari rolled out in February.

According to Meribole, the implementation of BHCPF in the country has progressed steadily over the past six months.

“Already, 33 states and the FCT have shown commitment; but only 21 states have made their financial contributions of N100 million each, to support implementation of BHCPF in their states,” he said.

The director said that only 24 states and the FCT had opened sub-accounts in the Treasury Single Account (TSA), for their agencies at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Out of the 33 states and the FCT, 20 have concluded all processes required to access their accounts. Already, 22 states have received funds from either the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), or National Health Insurance Scheme,” he said.

Edited by Ephraims Sheyin

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