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Toyin Ojora Saraki named as Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Global Champion
Founder-President WBFA, H.E Mrs. Toyin Saraki

Toyin Ojora Saraki named as Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Global Champion

As the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Forum convenes in Tokyo, this
week, bringing together over 300 high-level policymakers, including
heads of state and ministers of health and finance, Her Excellency, Mrs
Toyin Ojora Saraki, Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa
(WBFA), has been named as a UHC Global Champion.
The forum itself coincides with Universal Health Coverage Day, which
takes place on 12th December, each year. UHC is defined as people and
communities being able to use the promotive, preventive, curative,
rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient
quality and timeliness to be effective, while also ensuring that the use
of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.
The role of Universal Health Coverage Global Champion has been bestowed
upon H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki after her high-level advocacy for UHC
at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, in
September. The focus of Her Excellency and the WBFA delegation was to
advocate for the implementation of innovative country and regional
initiatives on policy and governance, working towards strengthening
primary healthcare systems and the development of health security in
Nigeria. That advocacy drew upon thirteen years of the WBFA’s work to
improve health outcomes in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.
To mark Universal Health Coverage Day, Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Ojora
Saraki commented:
“We must act to ensure that every person – rich or poor, old or young,
living in urban or rural areas – has access to effective, timely and
quality healthcare. The effects of Universal Health Coverage stretch far
beyond health outcomes, although we are in dire need of vast
improvements in that area. Health security reduces poverty, protects
against epidemics, drives economic growth and promotes gender equality.”
“Every year, roughly 100 million people, globally, are pushed into
poverty due to colossal health costs, while only 1 in 5 have social
security protection that will cover lost wages in the event of an
illness. The situation in Nigeria reflects that of many developing
countries. With an estimated population of 191 million, less than 10
million of our population is covered by the National Health Insurance
Scheme (NHIS).”
“I have been advocating for action and investment to make UHC a reality,
and I am delighted that some progress has been made –  the Legislative
Network for Universal Health Coverage, launched in July, aims to address
the issue of financing healthcare to reach all Nigerians, and the
Senate’s adoption, last month, of the one percent Consolidated Revenue
Fund (CRF) for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) is
ground-breaking.”
“We do, however, need to consolidate and build upon these achievements
as a matter of urgency. As a Global Universal Health Coverage Champion,
I will advocate for the benefits of UHC all over the world – but always
challenge innovators, partners, experts and legislators to prioritise
Nigeria, with its burgeoning population and health challenges.”

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