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Poor Understanding, bane of NHIS – Expert

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Poor understanding of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) by policy makers and administrators has been identified as the main drawback to the genuine execution of the scheme.

In addition, the activities of most Health Maintenance Orga-nizations (HMOs) in the guise of protecting the interest of health providers have also given a wrong impression on the actual concept of the NHIS.

Making this known recently during the 2009 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Port Harcourt, Dr. I. Odo noted that the situation has not only pauperised medical doctors, but has also given the wrong impression that health care is cheap.

In a paper titled, “Managed Care in the Organised Private Sector; the Providers’ Experience”, Dr. Odo said healthcare is not free anywhere in the world.

According to him, by concept, design and projection, the scheme is aimed at harnessing the resources and earnings of  Nigerian people across all strata by a formula of contributing obligation, “each man according to his capacity to provide appropriate, adequate, affordable health care for the people.”

He continued that “the choice of a social health insurance option is to target universal coverage, irrespective of socio-economic status, with the economically strong supporting the weak.

“Health Insurance is intended to make healthcare pricing affordable by the principles of insurance remunerations and not to make it cheap, hence the use of the world ‘cheap’ by operators of the scheme is, therefore, mischievous and calculated to mislead the system, and this is the cornerstone of the crisis in the health sector in Nigeria”, he concluded.

On the part of the HMOs, Dr. Odo hinted that they are merely growing fat at the expense of health providers and the success of the NHIS.

“Many of the HMOs have by their approach to the challenges of this scheme shown a deliberate lack of readiness to make it work.

“These are some of the reasons why the NHIS has failed to reasonably meet its set objectives four years after.

“The fate of the scheme is engaging the attention of those who know, while those who do not know, and those who are benefiting from the confusion are clapping”, he concluded.

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World Bank Forecasts Slow Global Growth, Cites New COVID-19 Variants

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The World Bank says despite a strong rebound in 2021, the global economy is entering a “pronounced slowdown” due to fresh threats from COVID-19.
Other factors are the rise in inflation, debt and income inequality, capable of endangering the recovery in emerging and developing economies.
The World Bank, led by David Malpass, released its Global Economic Prospects report yesterday.
The report says global growth is expected to decelerate markedly from 5.5 percent in 2021 to 4.1 percent in 2022.
For 2023, the year will dally by 3.2 percent as pent-up demand dissipates, and as fiscal and monetary support is unwound across the world.
The institution found that the rapid spread of omicron indicates that the pandemic will likely continue to disrupt economic activity.
“In addition, a notable deceleration in major economies—including the United States and China—will weigh on external demand in emerging and developing economies”, the report noted.
The World Bank warns that with developing economies lacking the policy space to support activity, new COVID-19 outbreaks, supply-chain bottlenecks, inflationary pressures and financial vulnerabilities may increase the risk of a hard landing.
“The world economy is simultaneously facing COVID-19, inflation, and policy uncertainty, with government spending and monetary policies in uncharted territory.
“Rising inequality and security challenges are particularly harmful for developing countries.
“Putting more countries on a favourable growth path requires concerted international action and a comprehensive set of national policy responses”, said President David Malpass.
The World Bank forecast came days after the discovery of Deltacron in Cyprus by a researcher and his team.
Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Cyprus, Leondios Kostrikis, said the new strain is a combination of delta and omicron.
Weeks earlier, IHU, also a new variant, was detected in France. Dozens of cases were reported near the South of Marseille.
The index case was a fully-vaccinated man who returned from a visit to Cameroon in November 2021. The country shares border with Nigeria.

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HIV/AIDS: ‘Wike’s Waiver Intended To Control Prevalence’

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Following concerns over HIV/AIDS prevalence in Rivers State, indicators are  rife that the new user fee waiver instituted by the state government will enhance the control of HIV prevalence if there is effective monitoring mechanism in the state.
Stating this in an exclusive interview recently, the  National Secretary of Network of People Living with HIV/AIDs in Nigeria(NEPWHN), Mr Clifford Emmanuel, said the waiver is the best thing that has happened to HIV prevalence in the state.
The national secretary explained that the implication of the waiver is that all fees that were paid by people who tested positive to HIV in other to secure treatment, are now being paid by the State Government.
Emphasizing on the effectiveness of the execution on the governor directives, the national secretary said this is where there could be a snag to “the governor’s good intention”
According to him, ensuring effective execution of the governor’s directive in government – owned facilities will be difficult without a functional monitoring and evaluation mechanism being put in place.”
”It will even be more difficult, to check the execution of the governor’s directive in the private health sector because some key stakeholders are likely to see it as an opportunity to extort both the government and those who require the services.
”One way to ensure that the governor’s real intention of instituting the user free waiver is achieved is for there to be an effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism, on the one hand, and the defaulters are made to face punishment.

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Natural Health Tips For 2022

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The year is just beginning and as usual many people will start with new year resolutions. Unfortunately, most of these resolutions will sweep health to a corner, and put money and income at the top.
There is nothing wrong in making money, but the setback is when we make resolutions without thinking about our health.
Remember health is wealth, and without good health all our new year resolutions may not be achieved. It is good health that drives every aspect of our lives from family, recreation, career, and education.
If we abandon our health and live carelessly without taking deliberate action on how to better our health then we will face many challenges towards our resolutions.
Therefore, before anything else, one is advised to take actions that will better his or her health such that it will be easy to sail through 2022 strong and resilient.
To achieve that, the following natural health tips have been recommended.
1. Eat good food. Now many people think or reason that good food is expensive, but that is a big misconception. Good food is beyond eating three square meals. Every meal should be well thought out and planned. Remember food is key in sustaining life. Make sure you eat natural food more than processed ones.
A lot of people on the” go” mostly workers that have right schedules like bankers, journalists, lawyers eat junks or sold food from shops and restaurants. Even at that make sure you combine food rightly.
Poor nutrition has been blamed for 60 percent of our ailments. It is therefore advisable to ensure you eat deliberately and not out of compulsion.
It is also  advised that you cut down on red meat consumption, fats and fries.
2. Be active. Do Exercise.
Most works these days make a lot of people immobile or sedentary. This worsens heart attacks, arthritis, back related problems, including many other ailments.
To prevent this, ensure you do some exercise by simply walking around your neighbourhood or engage in some activity or hobby that make you sweat at least twice a week.
3. Make Friends
Relationships are key to sound mind health. One’s network determines how one can tackle his or her challenges. Remember a problem shared is a problem solved. In the light of this, you are advised to strike friendship with neighbours, colleagues, even strangers.
Friends can help you solve challenges, assist you financially and morally.
Try and be more convivial by talking to people, sharing ideas and experiences. These will help you ease life and prolong one’s age.
4. Be more Adventurous.
A little bit of a pounding heart, a racy breathing is good for health according to experts. Though it fires adrenaline in the body, but the end is the feel good hormones oxytocin circulates in the body and strengthens the serotonin that is boosting our immunity.
Besides, life can be boring sometimes and this may worsen mental health. Adventure helps one to see life as a challenge rather than a planned systematic way of living.
Try and add something  new learn new skills, learn new language, learn new trade. All these help to boost happiness, open new opportunities and make life more endearing.
To be cont’d

By: Kevin Nengia

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