The Nasarawa State Government has commended two USAID-funded NGOs – Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) and Development Governance International Consult (DGI) – for partnership with the State Government, particularly the Nasarawa State Health Insurance Agency (NASHIA) in ensuring universal health coverage in the State.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gaza Gwamna gave the commendation at a 4-day Training workshop with the theme: Organisational Capacity Strengthening, Technical Competency and Leadership Capacity Building Workshop For Nasarawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NAPHDA) and NASHIA staff.
The workshop held at the Nasarawa Luxury Hotel, Lafia from Wednesday 4th to Saturday 7th October 2023 and was organized by USAID.
Among its many objectives, the workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of participants on effective partnership and collaboration to harness external support for operations.
While noting that they (LHSS/DGI) have done well in uplifting the State health insurance agency, Dr. Gwamna particularly acknowledged the DGI Director, Dr. Gafar Alawole for working closely with NASHIA from the beginning of the establishment of the agency to ensure that all residents in the State have access to health insurance without financial barriers.
He urged all the participants to be serious with the training, stressing that “the importance of this training is not only towards achieving what you will gain at the end, but retaining something very important that you will use as good knowledge in future.”
The State Program Coordinator DGI Consult, Dr. Gafar Alawole in his paper presentation harped on strengthening the capacity of participants in the key aspects of health insurance operations including marketing and resources mobilization.
Dr. Alawole said that the need to build the capacity of participants on effective partnership and collaboration cannot be over emphasized, just as it is important to harness external support in the operations of the agencies.
While facilitating the first module on Management and Leadership, Dr. Gafar stated that the training modules were based on the findings of the capacity assessment and areas of gaps that were jointly identified by DGI Consult and the duo of NAPHDA and NASHIA.
Dr. Gafar Alawode, in another presentation on the topic: ‘Building Effective Partnership,’ explained that the need to mobilize support requires building relationships with other actors and stakeholders, especially in the health sector, adding that partnership is key to ensuring sustainability of health systems intervention.
He assured that at DGI Consult, they are committed to building a healthier future for all by promoting the use of evidence to improve the quality of governance in policy making, institutional arrangement, coordination/collaboration and accountability towards expanding access to quality social services with equity.
“We are excited to partner with Local Health System Sustainable Project to equip both agencies with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their mandates and improve the health outcomes in Nasarawa State,” he added.
Also speaking at event, the Chief of Party of LHSS Nigeria, Dr. Bolanle Olusola Faleye commended the efforts of Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule for supporting the State Health Insurance Scheme to ensure every resident in the state have access to health insurance without financial barrier.
She advised the participants to take all the presentations and put into practice for effective implementation of all programs for the betterment of health care services for the residents of the state.
Dr. Olusola-Faleye appealed to the staff of NASHIA to emulate the Nasarawa State health commissioner who was former NASHIA Executive Secretary for the hard work done to ensure that the State Health Insurance Scheme got to level it is today.
She noted that NASHIA needs to seriously engage in continuous and consistent sensitization to engage others who are not enrolled into the scheme.
High point of the workshop was group training by all participants who will be presented with certificate at the end of each presentation.