Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund
The Nigerian population is living without health insurance coverage. A number of healthcare reforms have been implemented, aiming to address the country’s public health challenges. They include:
The NHIS, launched in 2005, is a combination of both compulsory and voluntary contributory health insurance schemes targeted at formal sector workers as well as informal sector workers.
Due to the failure of the NHIS to live up to expectations as a result of ineffective leadership, lack of succession planning and a poor governance structure, some states have begun to develop their own health insurance schemes.
In response to this, in the last 10 years of its operations, the WBFA has provided financing and healthcare provision through the Indigent Medical Fund, The Twins and Multiple Birth Program, and the Positive Lifeline Program. Since 2015, we have reviewed our operations to ensure our impact continues to be effective and far-reaching.
Considering that approximately 53.47% of Nigerians live below $1.90 a day, subsidised health insurance can be the difference between life and death for a number of families. Out-of-pocket financing at the point of service in hospitals can cripple families financially for years, resulting in further economic vulnerability and limited access to regular primary healthcare, setting off a cycle of poverty and poor health for generations.
For this reason, WBFA decided to transform and merge our existing health financing schemes to initiate the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund (AUHCF) in partnership with Hygeia Community Health Care (HCHC) – a local health insurance provider -, PharmAccess Foundation and the Kwara State Government. Through the AUHCF, we funded the insurance premiums of 5000 people each year.
The AUHCF served enrolees with an estimated percentage representation at the following levels: infants 35%, under-five children 30%, pregnant women 13%, persons living with HIV/AIDS and/or disability 12%, the elderly 3%, girls (aged 6-13 years) 7%. This was the planned spread across specific low-income communities in Kwara State, north-central Nigeria, in order to ensure that healthcare got to more people who lack the financial and geographical access to healthcare.
WBFA is continuously seeking ways to improve and expand AUHCF, in order to bring the strategy of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as championed by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, to those in need.