GLOBAL pharmaceutical giants, Pfizer, in collaboration with IQVIA, an international health-based agency that helps organizations around the world to provide the right treatments to patients faster, has began engagements with the National Health Insurance Authorities (NHIA) of Ghana and Nigeria to foster accessibility to cost-effective health care delivery.
In light of this, Pfizer, on Wednesday, September 27, held the maiden edition of the Accra Payer Summit in Accra which was aimed at facilitating dialogue between stakeholders on how health economics and public private partnerships are being applied to improve access in Ghana and Nigeria, setting the stage for continued collaboration through knowledge exchange between both countries.
In attendance was an array of institutions and agencies in the health sector of Ghana and Nigeria including representatives from the National Health Insurance Authorities of both countries.
Also present were officials from the Ministries of Health of both countries, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, C/CAN, mPharma, private health insurance experts, hospital representatives and Ghanaian and Nigerian representatives from IQVIA and Pfizer.
The event was followed up with a visit to the Ministry of Health the next day for the launch of the ‘Support to Evidence-Informed Priority Setting in Ghana (StEPS-Gh)” project where Ghana’s Essential Health Services Package was officially launched.
In his remarks, the Chief Director of NHIA Ghana, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, assured of the commitment of his outfit to be a “model of sustainable, progressive and equitable social health insurance scheme in Africa and beyond” aimed at providing financial risk protection against the cost of quality basic health care for all residents in Ghana.
“We are proud of this bold partnership, and it is my hope that, through this collaboration, we will help ease the pain and improve the lives of NHIA enrollees in our country”, he noted.
On his part, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NHIA Nigeria, intimated that Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Authority is “well positioned to accelerate access” with the recent signing of the NHIA act which has expanded coverage for 83 million vulnerable Nigerians.
His outfit, he added, “will continue to bring affordable and quality healthcare to all Nigerians, with the implementation of its ten-year strategic plan which is presently on course” while assuring of commitment of his outfit “to work with Pfizer, the global drug giant to assiduously achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Nigeria”.
Olayinka Subair, Cluster Lead for Pfizer, West Africa stressed the need for partnership with governments across West Africa as well as global health organizations in the health space to identify the gaps in the patient journey and address them properly.
“We are driving health equity through affordability programs for those who cannot afford them, such as subscription models and flexible payment options. We have already made enormous progress towards putting affordability at the heart of our business as decades of experience working across West Africa have built our strong understanding of patient needs and know that barriers to access aren’t just about the price of treatments but occur throughout the patient journey”, he noted.
IQVIA Director for East Africa & English-speaking West Africa, Naim Hage, intimated that as an organization that is inspired to advance health outcomes through collaboration, with the hope of overcoming some of the biggest challenges facing global health, IQVIA is passionate about continuously pushing the frontiers to advance public health efforts and improve health for all.
“This is driving our collaboration with Pfizer as we are harnessing our resources and expertise to identify, understand, and address unmet public health needs through this knowledge exchange on payer initiatives in Ghana and Nigeria to improve patients’ access to cost-effective care”, he underscored.
BY Nii Adjei Mensahfio