Wellbeing Foundation Africa Launches the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Scheme
- Bringing affordable healthcare to Nigerian women, adolescent girls, and more
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), a renowned Nigerian-based NGO dedicated to maternal, newborn and child health has launched its Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Scheme (AUHCS) to coincide with International Women’s Day.
The innovative financing scheme will see the WBFA partner with Hygeia Community Health Care, a Nigerian health insurance provider, and PharmAccess Foundation, an international organisation dedicated to expanding access to affordable health insurance, to fund the insurance premiums for 4800 Nigerians each year. Recipients will include pregnant women, children under five, adolescent girls, people living with HIV and AIDS, and the elderly, with adolescent girls and pregnant women representing 50% of enrolees.
Designed with women in mind, the AUHCS will enable adolescent girls and pregnant women to access affordable primary healthcare at the most vulnerable junctures of their life, rather than relying primarily on expensive emergency care. This will impact overall health habits, encourage healthier home practices, and improve community-based care. Research from Save the Children on Nigeria’s recently-passed National Health Bill has indicated that healthy home practices and community-based care could save over 90 000 babies a year.
Over the past decade of operations, the WBFA has provided financing and healthcare provision through the Indigent Medical Fund, The Twins and Multiple Birth Program, and the Positive Lifeline Program. As it looks to the post-2015 development agenda, WBFA has reviewed its operations to ensure its interventions are sustainable and far-reaching. The merger of these programmes and subsequent launch of the AUHCS will allow the WBFA to provide health coverage for 4800 people each year through Hygeia Community Health Care Ltd/Gte, a non-profit organisation that works by ’providing low-income communities with equitable access to affordable and quality healthcare services’.
The AUHCS will serve enrolees with an estimated percentage representation at the following levels: Pregnant women (30%); Newborns and infants (10%); Older children, up to age 5 years old (20%); Adolescent girls (20%); Persons living with HIV/AIDS (13%); and the elderly (7%). This will initially be spread across specific low-income communities in Kwara State, north-central Nigeria, in order to ensure that assistance reaches those who lack financial and geographical access to primary healthcare.
Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, Founder-President of WBFA said, “I am proud to announce the launch of the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Scheme in my home State of Kwara on International Women’s Day. Women’s empowerment is intrinsically linked to health. Affordable health insurance puts women in control of their health and control over the course of their lives. It gives women the power to make life-saving health decisions for their families, the power to demand respectful maternity care, and the power to develop long-term relationships with healthcare providers. The impact that this will have on every woman, and every child, and every community will be felt across the world.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa