NHF Seeks The Inclusion Of Cardiovascular Diseases In BHCPF And Health Insurance


Nigerian stakeholders have called for the integration of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) into basic health care provision funds (BHCPF) and social health insurance benefit packages in four states in Nigeria. The four states are: Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Osun. The stakeholders, during a roundtable meeting that was organised by the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF), in Lagos, last week, said that the government should ensure the integration of more Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), especially CVDs into the state Social Health Insurance (SSHI) scheme.

Dr. Bolaji Adebiyi, a public health physician, said that the roadmap to integration is to first identify the beneficiaries of the scheme.

“Beneficiaries of the scheme must be identified and we should also inculcate routine screening for CVDs at the Primary Health Care (PHC) and community levels. PHC and Secondary Health Care (SHC) facilities must be well equipped with good infrastructure, appropriate equipment and adequate human and financial resources to manage CVDs. We should also ensure a two-way referral system between the PHC and SHC facilities. There should also be determination of provider mechanism of provision to the vulnerable in the society and ensure a buy-in of the  National Council of Health.”

Dr. Adebiyi explained that there is a need to identify critical stakeholders, including People living with Non-communicable diseases (PLWNCDs) and to have a high-level advocacy to include cancers and chronic respiratory diseases in BHCPF. He also said that a high level advocacy should be made known to the government at the state and national Level.

Miss Timi Edwin, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CrimsonBow sickle cell initiative, said that the government and other stakeholders should ensure that there is adequate screening, treatment and care of PLWNCDs at the community, PHC and SHC levels.

Miss Edwin revealed that the state of PHC system is Nigeria is shocking as only about 20 per cent of 30,000 PHC facilities across Nigeria are fully functional. She said, “Centres face problems, which include poor staffing, poor distribution of health workers, poor quality of health care services, poor condition of infrastructure and lack of supply of essential medications. To ensure continual monitoring and evaluation for sustainability, I urge multi-stakeholders; Government, private sectors, NGOs and individuals to adopt PHC facilities and PLWNCDs by providing resources for management of CVDs.”

Dr. Kingsley Akinroye, the Executive Director of NHF, said that there is need to increase advocacy on BHCPF, as there is still a wide gap in that area. He said, “There is a lot to be done on awareness as the level of awareness is still very poor in the country. We should make meaningful noise to ensure everyone down to the grass root level is aware of the BHCPF. We implore and encourage the government, private sectors, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), high profile individuals to enroll citizens as much as they can into the healthcare scheme either on a free basis or reduced prices.”