The Development Governance International (DGI) Consult, a consulting firm that partners with multiple agencies to optimise health finance and governance on a global scale, has provided technical assistance and programme support to the Nasarawa Health Insurance Agency (NASHIA) for the review of its operational guideline.
The review of NASHIA’s operational guideline took place during a one-day stakeholders workshop held in Lafia, Nasarawa State on September 13, 2023.
The workshop, which aimed to understand the perspective of stakeholders in NASHIA’s operations, had in attendance healthcare providers, labour union members, religious leaders, and development partners, among others.
Explaining the rationale for the review of NASHIA’s operational guideline, the programme officer of DGI Consult, Ismail Abdulrazak said: “The recent changes in the legal framework of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), with the enactment of the NHIA Act, as well as NASHIA’s 5-year strategic plan and the lessons learnt in the implementation of the state’s insurance scheme necessitated the review to reposition the Agency’s operations.”
Driven by evidence for decision-making, DGI Consult developed a data-based and context-appropriate research through key informant interviews and desk review that helped participants to identify gaps and needed modifications in the processes, structures, and the technologies for health insurance operations of NASHIA.
The research also helped to chart a course of action for effective implementation of the agency’s revised operational guideline as participants gave presentations on the proposed modifications that would see to the enhancement of accessible and affordable healthcare for all Nasarawa citizens.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Gaza Gwamna, said the review of NASHIA’s operational guideline was long overdue.
“It’s been three to four years that NASHIA was established; we can all be proud that we have a scheme that is working, although it might not be perfect as we have our own challenges,” he said, adding that he was looking forward to the validation of the revised guideline.
The commissioner lauded DGI Consult for its constant support from the inception of the agency.
He said: “DGI Consult has been with us from the start and up to this point. Their impact is synonymous to the achievements we’ve had because they have provided a lot of technical support. They’ve had funding from LHSS and Christian Aid that has directly affected our operations and outlook within and outside the state.
“We believe that this would be replicated across all the other sectors of Nasarawa’s healthcare system. I must commend the leadership of DGI for what they are doing and I know that they are going to continue to do it because I will be asking them for more, so that they can help us strengthen the areas that need strengthening and also to maintain our wins so that we don’t go down.”
The acting Executive Secretary of NASHIA, Dr. Simon Istifanus, recalled that the agency from inception decided that the operational guide would be reviewed every three years to ensure it aligned with Nigeria’s current realities.
Istifanus also commended DGI Consult’s Director of Programmes, Gafar Alawode, for always obliging the agency to facilitate and advocate for them whenever they encountered challenges.