The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists has urged the government at all levels to design unique Universal Health Coverage models that can address the peculiar health needs of Nigerians.
The ANHEJ made this known in a communique signed by its President, Hassan Zaggi, and the General Secretary, Nike Adebowale, issued at the end of its 6th annual conference held in December 2022, with the theme “‘Universal Health Coverage, and National Health Insurance Act: How can Nigeria get it right? – The role of the media in perspective.”
The association said the UHC was vital to availing citizens of countries access to equal and equitable health services.
The PUNCH reports that the objectives of the conference were to deliberate on burning issues in the health sector, assess the activities of individual members and the association as a body, as well as discussions on improving Nigeria’s health sector, and strengthen the already existing relationship.
The communique read in part, “No single UHC model is suitable for all countries, as individual countries have their peculiarities which could be approached distinctly.
“To this end, ANHEJ, therefore, advises governments at all levels to design unique UHC models that can address the peculiar health needs of Nigerians.
“On the proposed arrangement for a Health Insurance Scheme for ANHEJ members, the conference resolved that the arrangement be subjected to further deliberations to forestall any conflict or impediment in maintaining ANHEJ’s core mandate of objectivity while carrying out their constitutionally guaranteed role of being the eyes and ears of the masses.
“Cordial working relationship among members of staff of any establishment is essential for the realisation of set goals and objectives. The conference, therefore, applauds the approach of the current leadership of the National Health Insurance Authority in managing the work environment and driving the organisational goals of the agency. It is important to sustain and strengthen same to realise the purpose for which the NHIA was established.”
It noted that health journalists agreed to work harmoniously with stakeholders in the health sector in driving the implementation of the adolescent health policies strategies which are geared towards the provision of sexual and reproductive health services.
“ANHEJ also agreed to convene a mid-year review meeting to assess the performance of health insurance in Nigeria to see if there is any improvement following the aggressive sensitisation by its members.
“The conference also appealed to media entrepreneurs and practitioners to update their equipment and skills in line with current global trends in the information and communication technology sector. This will help the sector play its constitutional role of informing the public, holding the leadership accountable, and setting the agenda for the desired behavioural change to birth a healthy society/improved healthcare system.
“ANHEJ, therefore, commended all stakeholders including the World Health Organisation, the Africa Health Budget Network, Marie Stopes Nigeria, the Nigerian Medical Association, the Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, individuals, and all those who supported in one way or the other to enable the conference hold, urging them to sustain the collaboration for the good of all Nigerians,” it added.