Ex-Health Minister calls for capacity building in health financing

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The Author Prof. Uchenna Ewelike, Ex Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu, staff members of NHIS
The Author Prof. Uchenna Ewelike, Ex Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu, staff members of NHIS

By Talatu Maiwada

The Former Minister of Health Prof. Onyebuchi  Chukwu has urged stakeholders in health sector to make concerted effort towards building capacity in health financing to achieve global endorsement of universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Chukwu made the call at the official launch and public presentation of a book titled `Basics of Health Financing in a Developing Economy ‘written by Prof. Uchenne Ewelike, Public Health Physician and Health Economics.

According to him, developing countries were more at risk of not achieving UHC and its incorporation in Sustainable Development Goal as a global target by 2030 due to lack of expertise in health financing.

Chukwu further commended the author Prof. Uchenne Ewelike, for helping to fill a yawning gap in the availability of literature in health financing that address the peculiar needs of developing countries.

He added that, health policy makers, planning and budget officials, legislators, health providers, medical and health practitioners, among others would find the book stimulating, educative, inspiring and enlightening.

The Author Prof. Uchenne Ewelike a Health Economist and Technical advisor to the overseeing Director, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), said the book would help in the universal health coverage agenda for Nigeria                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               “There is a gap that needs to be filled in terms of health financing in Nigeria and for us to drive towards UHC, there has to be evidence base and knowledge base.

“I decided to fill the gap of knowledge because there is a lot of knowledge deficit in health financing in the country.

“It would also help in UHC agenda for Nigeria because it is built on quality of care and sustainable development which is one basic thing the book tries to explain,’’ he said.

Ewelike further stressed the need for developing countries to be resilient and take up the challenge of financing the health sector, noting that donors and developing partners are getting fatigued.

He added that the ten chapter book has set a knowledge base agenda on the journey towards UHC, where no one would be left without a prepayment mechanism that guarantees access to quality healthcare.

The book reviewer, Dr Nneka Orji, Health Economist, with the Healthcare Finance Branch, Federal Ministry of Health, said the book was a huge knowledge product for the country.

Orji stated that the book has demystified the key concepts of UHC and health financing which would be of immense help to students and practitioners of health financing, decision makers and the general public.

She added that this was one of the first Health financing books to be launched and had become a global paradigm which Nigeria has adopted.


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