In this post, we have compiled a list of the major health agencies in the country and their functions.
1. National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) is one of the major health insurance agencies in the country.
It is a corporate body that was established under Act 35 of 1999 Constitution by the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve the health of all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various prepayment systems.
The scheme provides easy access to healthcare for all Nigerians at an affordable cost through various prepayment systems. NHIS enables Nigerians secure universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare in order to improve their health status.
Basically, NHIS works by providing social health insurance in Nigeria where health care services of contributors are paid from the common pool of funds contributed by the participants of the scheme.
In order words, the scheme is a pre-payment plan where participants pay a fixed regular amount and it is from this pooled fund that the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) pay for those needing medical attention. The systems help to improve resource mobilization and equity and it is said to be the most widely used form of health care financing worldwide.
Additionally, the NHIS regulates private health insurance operated by HMOs.
2. National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD)
NIPRD is the government agency that is involved in the advancement of indigenous pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) in order to enhance development and commercialization of pharmaceutical raw materials, drugs and biological products.
NIPRD was set up in 1987 following approval by the Federal Government to set up the agency as a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology which was based on the recommendation of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN).
The institute was established under the Science and Technology Act of 1980 with the primary objective of developing drugs, biological products and pharmaceutical raw materials from indigenous resources. NIPRD formally took off in 1989.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) made financial contributions toward the take-off of the Institute. Also a Board of Governors was instituted to govern the agency with representations from the PSN, PMG-MAN, Traditional Medicine Practitioners, Federal Ministry of Health (FMH) and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST).
The head of the agency is also a member of the Board as well as the Secretary.
3. National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA)
NACA is the government agency responsible for the control of AIDS. Since the establishment of this agency, the country has recorded a steady decline in HIV prevalence from a peak of 5.8% in 2001 to 3.0% in 2014.
One of the major responsibilities of NACA is to address the dearth of knowledge on HIV and it does this by making Nigeria, a nation of people with functional knowledge of HIV/AIDS who provide care and support to individuals, families and communities confronted with the epidemic and the Agency solely authorized to facilitate all stakeholder HIV/AIDS activities in the country.
Below is a list of NACA functions
- Plan and coordinate activities of the various sectors in the National Response Strategic Framework;
- Facilitate the engagement of all tiers of government and all sectors on issues of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support;
- Advocate for the mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS interventions into all sectors of the society;
- Formulate policies and guidelines on HIV/AIDS;
- Support HIV/AIDS research in the country;
- Mobilize resources (local and foreign) and coordinate equitable application for HIV/AIDS activities;
- Provide and coordinate linkages with the global community on HIV/AIDS;
- Monitor and evaluate all HIV/AIDS activities in the country;
- Facilitate the development and management of the policies and strategies of all sectors to ensure the human, financial and organizational resources to support the successful execution of the national HIV/AIDS response programme.
- Establish, encourage and promote training programme for the employees of the Agency and other appropriate persons from public or private organizations;
- Perform such functions as may, from time to time be assigned to it by the Government; and
- Facilitate collaboration for the management of HIV and opportunistic infections.
4. National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is a federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Health that is responsible for regulating and controlling the manufacture, importation, exportation, advertisement, distribution, sale and use of food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, chemicals and packaged water in Nigeria.
NAFDAC was set up in 1993 to checkmate illicit and counterfeit products in Nigeria based on the country’s health and safety law.
It would be recalled that in 1989, over 150 children died as a result of paracetamol syrup containing diethylene glycol. The problem of fake drugs was so severe that neighbouring countries such as Ghana and Sierra Leone officially banned the sale of drugs, foods and beverages products made in Nigeria.
It was these problems that led to the establishment of NAFDAC, with the goal of eliminating counterfeit pharmaceuticals, foods and beverages products that are not manufactured in Nigeria and ensuring that available medications are safe and effective.
5. National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)
The NPHCDA was established in 1992 and merged with the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) in 2007.
Between 1986 and 1992, remarkable and innovative progress was made in the development of Primary Health Care, focusing on the Local Government Areas (LGAs), resulting in Nigeria being placed in the front rank of countries in the world that have advanced the process of equitably improving the health and quality of life of its people through primary health care.
6. Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR)
NIMR was set up with the goal of becoming an institution of excellence in basic, applied and operational research for the promotion of national health and development in Nigeria.
The agency is involved in conducting research into diseases of public health importance in Nigeria and to develop structures for the dissemination of research findings.
Also, NIMR provides the enabling environment and facilities for health research and training in cooperation with the federal and state ministries of health and in collaboration with universities, allied institutions and organized private sector nationally and internationally.