Health Coverage

Stakeholders in the health sector have identified digitalisation and data management as factors for boosting health coverage and accessibility.

They made this known at a symposium organised by health insurance firm, Avon HMO, in Lagos, recently.

The theme of the event, held in commemoration of the firm’s 10th anniversary, was: ‘The role of data and digitalisation in accelerating our country’s progress on universal health coverage.’

The Director General of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Prof. Mohammed Nasir Sambo, underscored the pivotal role of technology in making the country achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

In a keynote address, he said policy direction must embrace digital technology and innovation, even as he noted that technology can revolutionise healthcare, enhance access to services and improve health information management.

He said: “Nigeria stands at a crucial junction in its journey towards attaining UHC. As we embark on a new national development agenda, we must recognise the link between health and economic development. Policy direction must be bold, visionary and responsive to the needs of our diverse population, by strengthening health systems, expanding financial risk protection, prioritising prevention, embracing technology and fostering collaboration.”

He declared: “I have great confidence in the collective commitment and determination of all stakeholders present at this symposium. Let us seize this opportunity to shape policy that will transform the health landscape of Nigeria and pave the way for a healthier prosperous and resilient nation.”

Chief Executive Officer of Avon HMO, Adesimbo Ukiri, said healthcare is data intensive and lends itself well to data analytics and artificial intelligence. She stressed that data and digitalisation will accelerate the country’s bid to achieve universal coverage, saying it is one of the areas the new administration of President Bola Tinubu needs to focus on.

“For it to be effective, its usage must be strategic and judicious. There are very important elements of that implementation that we must all bear in mind,” she added.

First published in The Guardian

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