The Nigeria Solidarity Support Fund (NSSF), a multi-donor institutional mechanism for mobilizing funds to improve healthcare in Nigeria says it remains committed to the improvement of the healthcare system in the country.
Nairametrics reports that NSSF was born out of a partnership between Global Citizen (GC) and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Dr. Fejiro Chinye-Nwoko, the General Manager of NSSF, emphasized the fund’s commitment to enhancing the healthcare system stating that it is strategically dedicated to enhancing healthcare outcomes for vulnerable populations and underserved communities in Nigeria by supporting impactful initiatives.
She highlighted that healthcare spending in the country amounted to N7.2 trillion (equivalent to 3.1% of GDP). This contrasts with the 15% target set by African leaders in the 2001 Abuja declaration.
According to her, the data above highlights the urgent need to increase healthcare spending to align with the agreed target.
Hence initiatives by NSSF play a crucial role in addressing key areas that enhance leadership and governance within the healthcare sector, with a particular focus on Routine Immunization (RI) programs.
What she said
According to her,
- “By increasing healthcare spending, Nigeria can allocate more resources to strengthen its healthcare system, improve access to quality healthcare services, and work towards achieving universal healthcare coverage.
- “Only about 20 percent of the 30,000 Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities across Nigeria are fully functional.
- “As a result, a large portion of the population does not have access to quality primary healthcare services, which are essential for preventive and early intervention measures.
- “Only three percent of Nigerians have healthcare insurance leaving most Nigerians vulnerable to health emergencies- individuals and families face financial risks and barriers when accessing healthcare service”.
Chinye-Nwoko highlighted that the NSSF, with its understanding of the challenges within Nigeria’s healthcare system, has made a significant impact.
The fund has provided financial assistance to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to expand COVID-19 vaccination campaigns.
She also noted that the support has led to the training of 12,000 healthcare workers in safe immunization practices and reached 12 million people through vaccine advocacy programs.
Additionally, over 4.9 million individuals have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as a result of these efforts.
- “We have championed participation in advocacy programs, where over 1,200 youths participated in our campaigns.
- “We have also championed advocacy discussions with key stakeholders on improved healthcare and immunization programs.
- “We have mobilized over 1.2 million in support of the government’s financing of the health sector,” Chinye-Nwoko said.