Towards easing patients’ access to cost-effective care, Pfizer West Africa has signed an agreement with the Nigerian and Ghanaian National Health Insurance Authorities (NHIA) with the aim of harnessing stakeholders’ expertise in closing existing gaps in public health, thereby making universal health coverage a reality in Africa.
Health insurance is a social security system that guarantees the provision of needed health services to persons on the payment of token contributions at regular intervals.
The two West African countries’ NHIA signed the partnership deed with the multinational pharmaceutical company, at the Inaugural Accra Payer Summit, held in Accra Ghana recently, with representatives from Ghana and Nigeria’s NHIA; Ministries of Health; the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control; C/CAN; pharma; private health insurance experts; hospital representatives; Ghanaian and Nigerian representatives from IQVIA and Pfizer in attendance.
The summit, which featured the official launch of Ghana’s Essential Health Services Package, also facilitated dialogue between stakeholders on how health economics and public private partnerships are being applied in Ghana and Nigeria to improve access. These discussions set the stage for continued collaboration through knowledge exchange between the two countries.
Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NHIA, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, expressed the readiness of the agency to work with Pfizer in expanding health insurance coverage to millions of vulnerable Nigerians, with the implementation of its ten-year strategic plan.
He said “National Health Insurance Authority is well positioned to accelerate access with the recent signing of the NHIA act which has expanded coverage for 83 million vulnerable Nigerians. The agency will continue to bring affordable and quality healthcare to all Nigerians, with the implementation of its ten-year strategic plan which is presently on course”.
Chief Director of NHIA Ghana, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, also assured Pfizer of the commitment of the agency to improve the conditions of NHIA enrollees through the provision of affordable healthcare models, for effective healthcare delivery services to Ghanaians.
“We are proud of this bold partnership, and it is my hope that, through this collaboration, we will help ease the pain and improve the lives of NHIA enrollees in our country.
“We are committed to be a model of sustainable, progressive and equitable social health insurance scheme in Africa and beyond as we provide financial risk protection against the cost of quality basic healthcare for all residents in Ghana, and to delight our subscribers and stakeholders with an enthusiastic, motivated and empathetic professionalism with all stakeholders”, he stated.
In his contribution, Cluster Lead for West Africa, Pfizer, Pharm. Olayinka Subair, explained the essence of the collaboration with governments across West Africa as well as global health organisations, which he said was to identify the gaps in the patient journey and address them. He narrated how Pfizer has been driving health equity through affordability programmes for those who cannot afford them, such as subscription models and flexible payment options.
“We have already made enormous progress towards putting affordability at the heart of our business as decades of experience working across West Africa have built our strong understanding of patient needs and know that barriers to access aren’t just about the price of treatments but occur throughout the patient journey”, he revealed.
Also speaking at the summit, IQVIA Director East Africa & English-speaking West Africa, Naim Hage, said IQVIA as an organisation that is inspired to advance health outcomes through collaboration, with the hope of overcoming some of the biggest challenges facing global health is passionate about continuously pushing to do more to advance public health efforts and improve health for all.
“This is driving our collaboration with Pfizer as we are harnessing our resources and expertise to identify, understands, and address unmet public health needs through this knowledge exchange on payer initiatives in Ghana and Nigeria to improve patients’ access to cost-effective care”, he disclosed.