3 June 2018

Nigeria: Insurance Products for Ebola, Meningitis, Lassa Fever Underway

Photo: Syriacus Buguzi
A new digital App, Afya Data, which has been launched by Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) comes as part of the varsity's contribution to the country's preparedness to combat life a threatening epidemics such as Rift Valley Fever, Ebola and other diseases that can spread from animals to humans, said SUA's Vice Chancellor, Prof Raphael Chibuda.

INSURANCE products to facilitate financial responses to outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, Meningitis, and Lassa fever in Nigeria and 29 other Africa countries are underway. An agency of the African Union, the African Risk Capacity, ARC, in a statement, weekend, said that it is working with West, East and Central African countries to determine their epidemic risks and select pathogens to be covered.

Director-General of ARC, Mr. Mohamed Beavogui, said over 30 countries across Africa are at risk of an outbreak of one or more of the epidemic-prone diseases. Beavogui said the agency will work with countries to optimize early warning systems, create pre-established contingency plans for rapid response, and provide access to swift disbursement of financing through parametric insurance.

He said the insurance products will make a difference for Africa aimed at the public health needs of Africans built through African and international collaboration, adding, "the highest global incidence of bacterial meningitis occurs in Africa, spanning West, East, and Central African nations. The risk of outbreaks of the Marburg virus disease and Lassa fever are viral hemorrhagic fevers."

Speaking for the Nigerian insurance market, the Managing Director, Riskguard Africa Limited, Mr. Yemi Soladoye said, "The Nigerian insurance sector has the financial and technical capacities to underwrite the risk". Soladoye explained that insurance is both a commercial and social business hence granting life insurance cover to the medical practitioners is in their capacity.

He said, "Insurers can grant cover to Ebola patients because in Kenya and South Africa, insurers grant cover to HIV positives. Ebola is an epidemic not a disease and so like cholera etc will soon pass. Even at that, insurers in other jurisdictions grant cover for existing deformities and dreaded diseases."

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