FG set to provide health coverage for 50 million Nigerians by 2027

By 2027, the Federal Government has promised to providing health insurance to more than 50 million Nigerians, primarily the poor and elderly.

Salma Anas-Ibrahim, Special Adviser to the President on Health, made the announcement on Monday in Abuja during the National Healthy Ageing Summit, which has as its theme

“Decade of Healthy Ageing in Nigeria: Situation, Challenges, and Transformative Pathway.”

She said, “As I’m speaking to you today as a special adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I want to reiterate to you that this is a critical stage in our lifetime in Nigeria, as we are transitioning to a new government of renewed hope and a renewed hope for health, I would like to say that the President is committed to ensuring that we meet and realise our universal health care coverage, which also involves the health of the elderly people.

“No one will be left behind, not an elderly person or any other person will be left behind.”

She pointed out that the elderly make up a significant portion of the vulnerable group and will have access to high-quality health care services that are available to other vulnerable groups, including women, children, and persons with physical disabilities.

She added that the “Renewed Hope Health agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to covering over 50 million Nigerians, and most of them vulnerable, including the elderly people, the aged people, within the next four years by the grace of God.”

Dr. Emem Omokaro, Director General of the National Senior Citizens Center, stressed the importance of giving priority to the nation’s senior citizens due to the potential rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases among them.

 “In Nigeria, disaggregated data from the Nigeria Living Standard Survey 2019 indicate a population of 14.8 million for older persons with a population growth rate of 2.8 per cent. In spite of its young pyramid-structured population, Nigeria by 2050 will be home to 29.8 million older persons.

“One of the implications of a growing ageing population is the considerable and likely growing prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases, chronic conditions, and functional impairment among the older persons, substantially expanding the need for Long Term Care,” Omokaro said.

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