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
Adaku Efuribe Joins The Global Fight To End Extreme Poverty In Sub-Saharan African
UK based Nigerian- Adaku Efuribe has been selected as a 2019 Youth Ambassador for anti-poverty group The ONE Campaign.
Adaku Efuribe will be working in Rotherham to highlight the importance of democratic engagement and campaigning to shape the wider world.
A key focus will be about how local campaigning can make a big difference for international issues, and Adaku will show the importance of international development and how their community can get involved.
Adaku Efuribe said, ‘’I am really excited to begin working as a Youth Ambassador in my local area because I think it is important to end extreme poverty. I also want to show people that it can be easy to campaign on these issues, and that their voice does make a difference!”
Adaku will be working to raise awareness of the fight against extreme poverty, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As part of the programme Adaku will be looking to meet with her local MP, Sarah Champion/Rotherham, news outlets, and local community members – and travel to Parliament to take part in large national events.
As well as promoting the positive impact that UK aid has around the world, she will be campaigning around the G7 meeting of government leaders to ask them to take action on extreme poverty.
Adaku will also be working to promote the upcoming replenishment conference Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, an organisation that’s dedicated to fighting killer diseases.
Romilly Greenhill, UK Director of The ONE Campaign, said: “This year’s Youth Ambassadors are amazing. I know with their energy and passion they will change the world for the better.
“There are some big moments coming up this year – especially the G7 summit and the Global Fund – that could really help the fight against extreme poverty. I know that Adaku Efuribe, alongside all the Youth Ambassadors, will be showing people in Rotherham how important these are.”
This is the sixth year the Youth Ambassador programme has run in the UK.
Previously, Youth Ambassadors have been on lobby days at Parliament and attended the G7 Summit in Germany to call on world leaders to act on extreme poverty.
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organisation of over nine million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, we raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programmes. Read more at www.one.org
Merck Foundation calls for Applications for “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards
Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President, Merck More Than a Mother with The First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU during their visit to a village in Central Province, Zambia to meet and empower infertile women
Merck Foundation invites application from all Fashion Designers of Zambia to create a design with the aim to break the stigma around infertility in Zambia and rest of Africa
LUSAKA, Zambia, March, 2019 — Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announces the Call for Application of “Merck More Than a Mother” Fashion Awards in partnership with H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia, together with Zambia Fashion Week.
“All Fashion Designers are invited to create a design with the aim to deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say “No to Infertility Stigma”. Designs ideas can also deliver messages to encourage men to speak openly about their infertility, because 50% of infertility causes are due to male factor”, explained Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother
Who can apply?
All Fashion Designers from Zambia
How to apply?
The applicants are requested to send the sketches of their creations as an attachment on email: [email protected].
Please mention the subject: Merck Foundation Fashion Awards and add your name, your email and contact number.
Last date of submission:
Entries can be submitted till 30th June 2019.
“No designer has ever, or would ever, say that he or she wanted to make things difficult for women. Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities that ‘Fertility is a Shared Responsibility’. I love fashion and I strongly believe that we will be able to select a creative design or designs that Men and/or Women would be proud to wear to show their contribution toward breaking the infertility stigma in their communities, villages, cities, across Africa and the rest of the world” emphasized Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck More Than a Mother.
“Designers it’s time to showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique creations.” Dr. Rasha Kelej added.
The best 10 submissions will be selected by ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ committee. Winners will be granted $500 each to execute their designs and will have an opportunity to exhibit them during the Zambia Fashion Week which will be conducted in Lusaka. Also, the model will get his or her winning outfit.
Merck Foundation plans to scale up this initiative in many more African Countries.
Merck Foundation established a long term partnership with the First Lady of Zambia and Ministry of Health to build healthcare capacity with the aim of improving access to equitable and quality healthcare solutions nationwide.
Merck Foundation has also appointed Her Excellency First Lady of Zambia to be the Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother campaign to empower infertile women through access to information, health and change of mindset to break the stigma around infertility. Through this campaign, Merck Foundation has trained the first Fertility specialists in Zambia, and will continue to train more candidates to help infertile couples across the country.
Why Sustainability Is Crucial To Supply Chain In Financial Institutions | Debo Adeniyi
Many Financial Institutions (FIs) today, especially the commercial Banks in Nigeria, claim to implement sustainability in operations and all functions of the bank which have been exhibited lately in either their stand-alone sustainability reports or Integrated Reports, but many have so far left a vacuum in linking the implementation to their supply chains. FCMB is one of the very few commercial banks that have identified how important sustainability is to its supply chain. A few years ago, the bank established a yearly “FCMB’s Vendors’ Sustainability Forum-VSF”. It is a yearly stakeholder’s engagement platform where all vendors of the bank are invited, hosted and trained on sustainability practices. The essence is to minimize cost, ensure quality of delivered products and services, improve speed of delivery, and instill health and safety culture, cut down on emissions amongst others.
If Supply Chain Sustainability (SCS) is so important, what does it really mean? SCS is the management of environmental, social and economic impacts, and the encouragement of good governance practices, throughout the lifecycles of goods and services. The objective of SCS is to create, protect and grow long-term environmental, social and economic value for all stakeholders involved in bringing products and services to market- UNGC.
It is important to note that we are now in the era where environmental and social risks translate into reputational risks, credit risks, and financial risks to financial institutions.
For Financial Institutions, many environmental and social impacts do not come from direct operations but from their supply chains. It makes a good business sense for FIs to expand their sustainability efforts to their supply chains, which can be exposed to a number of environmental, social, and governance issues that present significant challenges and opportunities. Considering, for instance, the purchasing power and the number of suppliers that many of these firms have, responsible/sustainable choices can have huge impacts.
Main Sustainability Issues of the FIs Supply Chain
- Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG): From energy consumption, to transportation of goods, courier services, armored vehicles, employee commutes, and business trips all contribute to GHG emissions.
- Human rights: Some of the main challenges related to human rights include providing a healthy and safe work environment; guaranteeing a diverse workplace and fostering non-discrimination, preventing harassments etc.
- Data privacy and security: A vendor’s ability to protect sensitive or personal data to prevent issues such as privacy intrusions, cyber-attacks, and frauds should be a key criterion in the supplier selection process.
- E-waste and conflict minerals: Electronic scrap components such as CPUs, monitors, printers, etc., contain potentially harmful materials such as lead, cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants and is often handled in crude, informal, and unsafe ways.
- Security: Using third-party security personnel introduces an additional component of risk and FIs cannot avoid employing security staff to protect branch offices and guard money that is being transported.
- Unsustainable practices in facilities and property management: Choosing the wrong suppliers to handle the design and construction of facilities can have significant repercussions on sustainability.
A few practical case studies showing the risks of unsustainable supply chain are:
- The case of Ecobank Plc., when fire engulfed its Headquarters in July 2018. A tanker with 33,000 litres of diesel, while trans-loading, had caught fire as a result of some technical fault from the tanker.
The negative impacts measured here are:
- Service disruption for about 3 hours which resulted into financial loss
- One of the industrial generators of the banks was damaged,
- Panic from customers and stakeholders,
- Increase in carbon footprint of the bank as a result of the excessive fire,
- Pollution of the drainages with spilled diesel,
- Wrong perception of lack of safety culture and consciousness etc.
- A Scaffolding Accident at Unity Bank’s Head Office. This happened during routine maintenance on the Head Office building at 42 Ahmed Onibudo, VI. The maintenance was carried out by a subcontractor to Highpoint Properties Limited. Sets of scaffolds being mounted by the technicians collapsed mid-way, 3 persons fell from the platform sustaining various degrees of injuries.
The negative impacts measured here are:
- Reputational damage as the impression was that the bank engaged quacks and unqualified contractors to carry out such project
- Financial loss as the bank had to foot the medical bill of the accident victim
- Backlash from stakeholders for not putting in place due-diligence to ensure quality, health and safety standards
- Negative picture painted by the media which is a reputational damage on the bank.
3. Another example is the report from one of the national dailies and online media, Premium Times who reported on its online platform on the 6th of January 2019, with the title “Menace to Society… Who will Save GTBank Customers from their Security Men?” In that report, there were instances where customers gave account of series of extortion, harassment, embarrassments, etc. caused by the security personnel of the Guarantee Trust Bank.
The negative impacts measured here are:
- Human rights violation and
- Reputational damage which would have resulted into customer loss and financial loss.
Cases of unsustainable practices by supply chain in financial institutions are numerous and occur every other day. The FIs need to do the needful that will not hamper their operations and smooth running. For financial services, expanding efforts to include their supply chain gives companies a way to further integrate sustainability into their business, minimizing risks and enhancing opportunities that can be derived from supplier relations.
There are several benefits in practicing sustainable supply chain which cut across the triple bottom line (economic, social and environment)
Economic Goals: It helps to reduce cost, improves quality, speed of delivery, flexibility, resource utilization, visibility and innovativeness
Social benefits: Respect of human and workers’ rights, avoid child labour, improve health, safety and working conditions, gender equality, poverty alleviation, etc.
Environmental benefits: Averting Pollution, encouraging environmental friendly products and services, reduction of carbon emission etc.
Common business drivers for supply chain sustainability
- Compliance and regulatory risk
- License to operate
- Business continuity
- Efficiencies and opportunities for innovation
- An increased ability to manage business risks,
- Fostering sustainability-driven productivity
- Cost reduction
Some of the risks that are traditionally connected with poor management of the supply chain are damage to reputation, reduced capacity to attract and retain employees, and loss of customers.
Some areas of Supply Chains that Sustainability can be integrated to:
- Raw material sourcing
- Logistics (Transportation & Logistics)
Proactive steps FIs can take to ensure a sustainable supply chain
- Define sustainability goals.
- Align with company culture, code of conduct, sustainability strategy and materiality
- Comply with regulations and voluntary commitments (e.g., certification schemes)
- Train management and suppliers on market best practices.
- Sanction suppliers if default on standards.
- Designate organisational member in charge.
- Deploy technology to increase accountability, transparency and traceability
- Disclose their efforts using reporting mechanisms, such as their sustainability reports in-line with GRI standards, SASB, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) etc.
- Monitor Suppliers.
In order to make supply chain sustainability a more broadly adopted and more thoroughly implemented business practice, we need to continue our efforts to build a better understanding of the business value created, alongside continued implementation of supply chain sustainability practices. The FIs should be well positioned to address sustainability challenges and minimize risks in its supply chains proactively and should look for opportunities to assess direct savings, ensure quality, safety and model avoided costs associated with their supply chain sustainability efforts to advance practices that create value for their businesses, environment as well as for society.
Debo Adeniyi is the Executive Director and the Global Sustainability Leader, at the Centre for Global Solutions and Sustainable Development, (CENGSSUD). He is a seasoned professional, a Corporate Sustainability and Sustainable Development Practitioner, a trained business strategist, innovator with experience and specialties towards working with the private sector in implementing Sustainability in core business strategy, DNA and operations with a strong drive on values, results, creating compelling overarching aspirations and embedding them in the organisation through change management and empowered leadership to create growth, innovation and operational efficiencies.
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