The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) has applauded the World Health Organisation (WHO) for being instrumental to the growth and development of the health sector in Nigeria through its rendering of required technical support for proper policy formulation and implementation. The association gave the commendation in a communique it issued at the end of its 6th annual conference which took place at Kini Hotel, Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
The communique which was signed by ANHEJ President, Hassan Zaggi and General Secretary, Mrs. Nike Adebowale further called on WHO to improve and sustain its collaboration with both the Federal and state governments in the country in order to improve the health of Nigerians. The communique further called for a unique Universal Health Coverage (UHC) model that can address the peculiar health needs of Nigerians. “Health journalists agreed to work harmoniously with all stakeholders in the health sector in driving the full implementation of the adolescent health policies strategies which is geared towards provision of sexual and reproductive health services to young people in Nigeria;
“The Health Journalists agreed to work with stakeholders, especially in the health sector, towards driving the implementation of various health sector policies and strategies in Nigeria for healthy and productive citizenry,” the communique stated. On the proposed payment of health insurance premium by Africa Health Budget Network (AHBN) for 50 members of the ANHEJ, the communique said, “the conference resolved that the arrangement be subjected to further deliberations to forestall any conflicts or impediments in maintaining ANHEJ’s core mandate of objectivity while carrying out their constitutionally guaranteed role of being the eyes and ears of the masses;
“ANHEJ vow to improve its sensitization and awareness creation on the importance of health insurance so that political leaders, well-to-do individuals, states and local governments can enroll their citizens in health insurance. “ANHEJ also committed to monitor closely the implementation of the various health insurance packages and exposed their weaknesses so that the NHIA and other relevant agencies of government can make the needed amendments for the good of all Nigerians. “ANHEJ also agreed to convene a mid-year review meeting to assess the performance of the health insurance in Nigeria to see if there is any improvement following the aggressive sensitization by its members.
“Conference also appealed to media entrepreneurs and practitioners to update their equipment and skills sets to be in line with current global trends in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector. “This will help the sector play its constitutional role of informing the public, holding leadership accountable and setting the agenda for the desired behavioural change in order to birth a healthy society/improved healthcare system.” ANHEJ equally charged the management of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to sustain and strengthen the cordial working environment of the organisation for the good of the country.
The association further commended the management of the NHIA under the leadership of the current Director General, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, for providing a peaceful and cordial working environment for speedy growth and progress of the organisation. “It is important to sustain and strengthen same to realise the purpose for which the NHIA was established”.