The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday renewed its partnership with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for effective health insurance news dissemination.
The Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, renewed the partnership when he received the Executive Secretary of the scheme, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, at the NAN headquarters in Abuja.
Ponle told his guest that the two organisations had long term relationship, adding that “we are partners in progress
and will renew the close-knit partnership through this visit.
“We have a multi-media unit for effective reportage and SMS products which can enrich your visibility.
Here in NAN, we practice development journalism.
“We try as much as possible to report adequately and proffer solutions to issues. We are not for negativity, in fact, our motto is positivity. We look at the positive aspects of stories to enhance development.”
The managing director said NAN had changed the narrative in reporting Africa through development issues,
noting that “we identify and emphasize with humanity.
“Health is wealth; it can also be wealth is health but whichever way you stand, your activities have shown that you identify health over wealth.
“I am happy to know that you have brought healthcare delivery in term of affordability, accessibility and availability to the doorsteps of the rural people where about 60 per cent of Nigerians live.”
The NAN boss commended Sambo for ongoing reforms toward addressing the challenges of the scheme.
He said “count on us; we were set up to add to the development of the country; to add to the betterment of our society and to our population. You have our full support in achieving your mandate.’’
Earlier, Sambo said the purpose of the visit was to seek partnership with NAN on news dissemination and to solicit the agency’s reportage of NHIS activities.
The executive secretary added that he embarked on reform of the scheme in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s next level agenda and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
He explained that the three-point reform agenda were on restoration of value re-orientation, improved transparency and accountability, as well as accelerated drive toward UHC.
In addition, he said, NHIS had been collaborating with state health insurance agencies to boost insurance in the country.
He added that “we are working assiduously with state governments to ensure that they establish health insurance schemes too to take care of people at that level.
“This is because when we look at the business activities that have been going on under NHIS all these years, they were all centred around the formal and private sectors.
“But we have large group of population that are supposed to come into the NHIS ecosystem, hence the need to do same in the states.”
He explained that the scheme introduced the Group Individual and Family Social Insurance Programme (GIFSHIP) so as to incorporate more citizens and to achieve UHC.
“Just a few months ago, the Minister of Health inaugurated this initiative. Under this initiative, we are looking forward to see individuals and families joining the health insurance scheme,’’ he said. (NAN)