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Celebrating #UHCDay – Health for “Shikini” Money

At Home and Street Kids Welfare Initiative (HSKI) we are organizing an advocacy event in celebration of UHC Day 2018 on 11th and 12th December 2018 at Koro Afoju, Ilorin, Kwara State. This event is targeted towards disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. The aim of the event is to promote awareness on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and register people to the Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). It would also be a launching pad for NaiHealth, a health solution and social enterprise which will enable low cost on-site and online recruitment of underprivileged communities to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and other value-added services.

For more than 11 years, HSKi has been working with these target communities which include slums, street people, nomadic settlements and refugees and illegal immigrants from Niger Republic, Mali and Chad who were displaced due to famine and conflicts. Most people in these communities typically resort to begging and other less than menial activities with their children just to survive. Therefore, they are unable to provide basic amenities and healthcare for themselves. So, due to their economic disadvantage, poor living conditions and lack of education, they are often exposed to and affected by extreme health conditions and diseases. Therefore, they find it extremely difficult to pay for quality health services on demand. Hence the urgent need for them to adopt UHC as a means of gaining access to affordable quality healthcare.

We will be organizing this event with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which is the body established by the Nigerian government to provide UHC and affordable Healthcare. The NHIS recently established a platform through which related NGOs can help target communities to access the prepaid health packages tailored specifically for such communities. We are hereby taking advantage of this platform to actively encourage and register target community members to affordable health care at even more reduced costs. In addition to discussing UHC and NHIS at the event, we would speak briefly on some related health topics that is relevant to the needs of the target communities.

The UHC Day celebration is themed “Health For “Shikini” Money – which is local pidgin English for “Getting health for very small money”. To kickstart the event, there would be a short pre-event awareness march on Tuesday 11th December around “Koro Afoju” (Land of the Blind) – a highly populated local slum community in Ilorin. Then on Wednesday 12th December, we would have the main event which would be a 2-hour advocacy meeting on UHC and NHIS registration. Staff of the NHIS state office and members of the state’s Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) will support and speak at the event. The meeting would consist of an interactive session discussing the benefits of NHIS and promoting for its registration at the event. We expect to register at least 1000 people as a result of the event (on event day and at follow-up). We plan that this event would be a kick-start to a larger advocacy campaign on UHC and NHIS in target communities across Nigeria, therefore, we will follow up in collaboration with NHIS to maintain registered persons and increase number of persons registered to the NHIS over the course of the year.