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Momentum builds for UHC across Kenya and Nigeria in 2018



The road to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa was greatly strengthened by a number of high profile developments in Kenya and Nigeria during 2018. A strong increase in enrollments of people across both countries got underway at both state and county levels, alongside strong support at political level. 2018 was truly the year when Universal Health Coverage was put center stage.

NIGERIA: Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme

The year ended on a hugely positive note as the Lagos State Government launched the Lagos State Health insurance scheme in December. It was a significant step towards Universal Health Coverage for the over 20 million residents of the state. The PharmAccess team is proud to have played a significant role in the design process, including implementing the proof of concept, mirroring the Lagos State health scheme for over 12 months, proving that the use of mobile and digital technology can create access to healthcare for even the most vulnerable citizens, as well as efficiency and transparency in scheme administration.

Speaking at the launch, Country Director for PharmAccess Nigeria, Njide Ndili said, “PharmAccess Foundation is excited at the launch of the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme and what it means for universal healthcare for Lagosians. Throughout our 10 year relationship with Lagos State, we have been working hard with the Government and stakeholders to provide technical assistance to make sure that the scheme is a great, sustainable and longstanding success.”

NIGERIA: Kwara State launches health insurance for all

The journey towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria had already taken another step closer earlier in the year. In July Kwara State  launched its mandatory health insurance scheme for every resident. It allocates Government funds to pay the premiums of the poor and vulnerable in society as full subsidies. The process began back in 2007 with the Kwara Community Based Health Insurance Scheme and led to a state-wide insurance scheme in just over ten years. The successful transition was enabled through our work supporting Kwara State, healthcare providers, and communities in creating the demand and quality standards critical for health insurance adoption among the local population. This effective collaboration cultivated the ownership and financing necessary to ensure long-term delivery of primary health care, including maternal and child health. Commenting on the launch, CEO of PharmAccess Monique Dolfing said, “We are happy that the community based health insurance scheme has grown into a statewide scheme we are launching today.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: President signs the UHC national charter

December also saw a momentous moment for the future of health access in Kenya as President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the UHC pilot program in the country. It was a huge step forward for UHC in Kenya. Our team were on the ground in Kisumu County for the announcement. For its part, PharmAccess together with its partner CarePay Kenya, has been cooperating with three of the pilot counties – Kisumu, Nyeri, Machakos as well as Kakamega and Kirinyaga – to help foster, develop, and implement a county embedded model for Universal Health Care comprising the dual pillars of cover and care. Our technical partnership with Kisumu has helped facilitate all the registrations in the county – totaling 240,000 people, using the M-TIBA registration application.

KENYA: Massive UHC Registration Drive to get underway in Kisumu County, Kenya

In August, Kisumu County Government announced that it is preparing a massive registration drive to roll out UHC for all its residents. To help reach this important and ambitious aim PharmAccess was asked to assist the country’s National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to achieve universal health coverage by 2022. As part of the Kenyan’s government’s push towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC) over the next 5 years, all Kisumu county residents will gain access to the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) for comprehensive health services.

Kisumu is one of the four pilot counties for the UHC pilot and has developed an innovative healthcare model that combines access to health insurance with better quality of care. Utilizing a public-private approach, the county has partnered with PharmAccess for technical assistance. The partnership will facilitate digital registrations into NHIF, health financing, and service delivery in a cost effective and transparent way. Isaiah Okoth, Country Director, PharmAccess Kenya, says, “We share Kisumu’s commitment to unveil universal health coverage for its people while ensuring quality, accessible and affordable healthcare for the long term. From our experience, successful public-private partnerships have the potential to accelerate investment into healthcare. By harnessing the power of mobile technology through the M-TIBA platform, Kisumu is in the frontline of healthcare innovation.” Read the full story here.

KENYA: Registration drives underway in Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Machakos counties

Kirinyaga county in Kenya also kicked off its registration drive to extend universal health coverage to all eligible residents – some 124,000 households. The picture above illustrates the procedure on the ground as teams from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) use M-TIBA to register people for Universal Health Coverage.

– PharmAccess Foundation


Toni Tones, VP’s Wife Dolapo Osinbajo Collaborate to Help Advance ‘Yaba Market March’ Cause




Toni Tones is well known for being a stellar actress, singer, and photographer. But did you know she is also a passionate advocate of women’s rights and empowerment? One of the causes she is currently advocating for is the ‘Yaba Market March’ movement, which was started by Damilola Marcus.  You may recall that Damilola along with a group of women, had organized and embarked on a peaceful market protest at Yaba market a few weeks ago. The rationale behind the protest was to stop women from being victims of marketplace groping, abuse and even physical assault.

The women marched peacefully, urging men at the market not to harass them, as they chanted their slogan, “stop touching us.” They were not deterred be the aggressiveness of the men present. The very next day, there were
reports from women saying they had visited Yaba market and no one had touched them, as a direct result of the march. Toni Tones heard about the movement via social media, and was deeply moved by their cause. Consequently, she sought to help them develop sustainable measures to ensure that women continue to remain safe while visiting the market.

To this end, she facilitated a meeting with activist, Her Excellency, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, to discuss ways in which the government could help support the noble cause. Her Excellency, graciously hosted Toni Tones and the women who engaged in the market march at her home, where they discussed the market march agenda and the different ways the government could render support.

The meeting ended on a very positive note, with lots of impactful reforms deliberated on. Mrs. Osinbajo also came up with an additional slogan for the movement, as follows: “I’m shopping no touching.”

See photos/video of the meeting below.


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Aliko Dangote Foundation, UNECA and GBCHealth Advocate Public-Private Sector Partnership for Better Health in Africa




The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector

ADDIS ABABA: Top African leaders including Heads of States, Ministers, CEOs as well as representatives from the African Union and United Nations will converge at the inaugural Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) ( taking place in Ethiopia on 12th February 2019 on the margins of the 32nd African Union Summit.

The Forum will unify Africa’s key decision makers in exploring opportunities for catalyzing growth in the continent’s economy, through business partnerships to invest in the health sector.

The inter-relationship between the health of employees and economic growth is increasingly taking center stage in many African countries, and business is being pushed to exploring how to maximize shareholder value as a complex interplay between financial, human, social and environmental return.

African business entrepreneurs are waking up to the reality that good health is good business, and investing in health is both a business and social imperative, with studies showing that by 2030, business opportunities in the health and wellness sector will reach $1.8 trillion in current prices.

Investing in African health systems is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives, prevent life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

“From a business standpoint, we are beginning to see the opportunities that could be created by focusing on improving and investing in health,” says Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, a renowned financier and Co- Chair, GBCHealth. “There is a need to close the gap on the inequality of life in Africa from a healthcare standpoint and we must look to develop a universal plan that shifts the needle as far as healthcare in Africa is concerned. Health must cease being a source of pain, and become a source of prosperity instead.”

The AB:HF is the vision of GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, with the objective of driving business leadership, strengthening partnerships, and facilitating investments to change the face of healthcare in Africa.

The Forum will culminate in the launch of the African Business Coalition for Health (ABCHealth), a coalition that will mobilize a core group of private sector champions through a coordinated platform to advance health outcomes and shape health systems across Africa.

ABCHealth will serve as the regional platform to unlock synergies that will contribute more directly to a healthy and prosperous Africa, enabled by collaboration and business partnerships.

Reiterating the need for business leaders to key into this vision, Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group and Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, said: “The best way to move Africa forward is for businesses to step up in health care and take bold action. We must work together, across industries and with governments and communities, to foster innovation and drive more strategic investments that benefit us collectively. The time is now for a new era of cooperation in Africa that will position its people, communities and businesses for success, now and in the future.” Good health is not only an outcome of, but also a foundation for, development

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, UNECA said: “The Commission will play a role in the design and implementation of policy frameworks around the financing of healthcare through Public Private Partnerships and the private sector. Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this will also encourage regional transboundary health investments especially in the pharmaceutical sector.”


About AB:HF:

Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF) ( is a platform instituted by GBCHealth, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Aliko Dangote Foundation to broker private sector commitments to health across Africa.

About GBCHealth:

GBCHealth ( is dedicated to leveraging the resources and expertise of the private sector to meet today’s most pressing health challenges. Founded in 2001, under the leadership of Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke, GBCHealth has built a strong track record of mobilizing business action to address workplace and community health issues. Today, the organization works with a network of more than 300 organizations globally to drive partnerships and collective action in areas of greatest need.

Mr Aig-Imoukhuede has served on the GBCHealth Board since 2011 and is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur, business leader and proponent of corporate social responsibility in the African business community.

About the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA):

Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, UNECA’s ( mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. UNECA also provides technical advisory services to African governments, intergovernmental organizations and institutions. In addition, it formulates and promotes development assistance programs and acts as the executing agency for relevant operational projects.

Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, UNECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the continent’s developmental challenges.

UNECA is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with offices in Rabat, Lusaka, Kigali, Niamey, Yaoundé and Dakar.

About the Aliko Dangote Foundation:

The Aliko Dangote Foundation ( is the philanthropic foundation of Aliko Dangote, Group President, Dangote Group, established with a mission to enhance opportunities for social change through strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education, and broaden economic empowerment opportunities. The foundation was incorporated in 1994 as a charity in Lagos, Nigeria and has since become the largest private foundation in sub-Saharan Africa, with the largest endowment by a single African donor. The foundation has contributed over $250 million in charitable funds to several causes in Nigeria and Africa over the past four years.

SOURCE: (APO) Africa Business: Health Forum (AB:HF)

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Vimbai Launches Empowerment Portal for Young African Women: TheVimbai.Com




TV Host & Producer, Vimbai, has launched the ultimate digital empowerment portal for young African women who are looking to bloom into their full potential. is every African girl’s big sister and a movement of inspired thinkers, dreamers and game-changers. Specifically created for African women by African women, the website is home to cutting edge editorial content as well as original video series that speak to the real-life issues we are all talking about behind closed doors.


Speaking on what inspired her to embark on this project, Vimbai says: “I became known as the ‘table-shaker’ last year when I posted a truth in passing. After receiving thousands of emails from across Africa as a result of this post, I realized that not only are people hungry to start having so-called taboo conversations in public, we are also ready to have a platform to learn, analyze and dissect unpopular truths in our society. My platform is an enlightened place for women to do so.”


Visit today!

Instagram: @thevimbaidotcom

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