Nigeria: Anambra State Launches First Mobile Technology Health Insurance Platform and Data Operations Centre

Anambra State Governor Chief Willie Obiano has launched first Mobile Technology Health Insurance Platform (MTHIP) and Data Operations Centre (DOC) in Nigeria with funding from European Union and technical support from the World Health Organization.

Speaking during the event on 11 September 2021 in Awka, the Governor underscored his firm decision to leave a legacy of health reforms in the State to reduce poverty among the people especially the poor and vulnerable while providing financial risk protection on health. He was glad to demonstrate the impact such political will is making on the lives of his people.

In his remarks, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon said, "the Data Operation Centre is strategic in making informed decisions and policies to drive a better healthcare access to residents." "The centre meets international best standard and I want to urge other states to visit Anambra and copy the reforms the state has implemented in the health sector.

"We are quite impressed with the level of technology being maximized by the state Health Insurance agency to ensure access to quality healthcare to all in the state."

He appreciated the EU and WHO for providing the required support to the State which will be key to making decisions towards promoting health of the Anambra people.

Accurate and timely data generated through a country's health information system are needed to assess the state of a population's health, towards establishing priorities and tracking progress towards goals and objectives, including Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As an International body, we are committed to giving high technical assistance to the state to ensure quality healthcare delivery," he said

On his part, Anambra Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, said the partnership and funding from EU and WHO contributed significantly to strengthening healthcare delivery in the state.

"Through WHO's technical support, the Data Operations Center was established to facilitate integration of data on the indicators across programmes and systems. "The integrated approach provides general health planners and managers with an overarching or "cross-cutting" view of health services, based on a limited set of tracer indicators that represent multiple health programmes and service components". "Evidence generated through the State health accounts provided the baseline for tracking progress towards UHC in the State and the design of the State health insurance Scheme".

Equally, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Health Insurance Agency (ASHIA) Dr Simeon Onyemaechi said, "WHO's technical support with funding from the European Union informed our health financing reforms in terms of the adoption model and innovative mobile technology health insurance program through which the state has recorded over 35% increase in population enrolment into ASHIA."

The WHO Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, who witnessed the launch, mentioned that over the past four years, "We have worked with the leadership of the SMOH in developing the State Health Financing Policy and Strategy especially as the Government of Anambra State is instituting health reforms including operationalization of the Health Insurance Law. To provide sustainable governance structures to drive these reforms, the WHO supported the establishment of the Health Financing Equity and Investment Unit in SMOH and Technical Working Group."

The highlight of the launch was the renewal of enrollment of Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano into the Anambra State Health Insurance Scheme and adoption of over 1,200 poor and vulnerable community members in different categories into the scheme by dignitaries, of which 355 came from the United Nations.

Finally, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, decorated the Governor, Chief Willie Obiano as a "Champion of Sustainable Development".

Technical Contacts:

Dr Francis Ukwuije; Email: ukwuijef [at] who.int; Tel: +234 803 475 5925

Dr Nkiru Ukor; Email ukorn [at] who.int; Tel: +234 813 173 6266

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