The management of the Nigeria Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Thursday entered into an agreement with four institutions in the country for the training and capacity development of its staff and other health practitioners in the health insurance ecosystem.
Director General of the Nigeria Health Insurance Authority Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo who signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the partner for the training programme – Result for development and representatives of the universities – said the initiative was intended to further improve on the capacity and efficient delivery of health insurance services in the country.
” We found out from the onset of this management of NHIA that there is limited capacity in health in Nigeria. So we decided that there is the need to have a concrete arrangement for building human capacity development in the health insurance ecosystem.
“To this end, we are partnering with the Result for Development group (R4D) with sponsorship from the Bill and Milinder Gates Foundation to package what we called the NHIA Leadership Development programme,” he said.
He said the leadership development programme was going to be implemented in collaboration with four institutions, Pan African University, Lagos, Educational Resource Development Centre, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Sambo said the NHIA had developed a very comprehensive protocol for the training and enhancement of the capacity of the staff and other health insurance practitioners in the country.
“So today we are signing a Memoradum of understanding with four institutions for a three- year leadership training programme lasting over two to three-year duration,” he said.
On the coverage level of the training, Sambo said: ” We are expecting that as many as the people in the health insurance ecosystem will benefit. In fact, we have already started the training and all the managers of the NHIA are being trained at the Lagos Business School and all the state coordinators of health insurance scheme have been trained. In the same vein, all the Chief Executives of the state health insurance authorities have also been trained.
‘We are doing a cascade of training, so that from the middle level cadre to the top level cadre in all all health insurance organisations will benefit from the capacity development programme. We are thinking of establishing what we call Health Insurance Institute where all the human resource developed so far will be put together fo ensure sustainability,” he said.
The Country Representative of Result for Development group, Dr. Hope Uweja said the objective of the MoU is to provide technical assistance to the NHIA, enhance the knowledge and capacity of its staff so as to be able to achieve universal health coverage for Nigeria.
Also in his speech, Dr. Francis Ukwujie who represented the Country Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the body sees as critical element of the initiative, the ability to provide knowledge to those who are in charge implementing the health insurance programme in Nigeria.