Strategic purchasing for Health Care and Universal Health Coverage in Niger

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A national conference was held at the Radisson Hotel in Niger from February 27 to March 1, 2023 with the following topic: “Strategic Purchasing of Primary Health Care: Solutions and Institutional Agenda for Niger”.

The purpose of this conference was to support the Ministry of Public Health, Population and Social Affairs (MSP/P/AS) in its ambition to evolve from a “passive purchasing” to a “strategic purchasing” of health services on a national scale, and to harmonize and align the different purchasing approaches, as part of the operationalization of the National Institute for Medical Assistance (INAM). 

It brought together around fifty key players in the field of health financing in Niger, the sub-region and beyond, and benefited from the technical and financial support of the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO). The conference was marked by an important contribution from Bluesquare and the European Agency for the Development and Health (AEDES), particularly on two themes. The first theme focused on “Fiduciary risk management and auditing”, where Bluesquare brought useful insights thanks to their experience on the auditing of healthcare services. This is called the Risk-Based Audit, implemented in the framework of the Purchasing Fund for Reproductive Health Program that was implemented in 12 districts of the Tillabéry region.

The second theme focused on “Availability and use of data for strategic purchasing” and highlighted the information systems used to improve data management for strategic purchasing such as, among others: ORBF2 – an application used for the purchase of health care services within the framework of the Purchasing Fund (financed by KFW) and OpenImis for the pilot digitization of Health Insurance in 2 districts (Gothèye and Gaya) with the financial support from Enabel.

This conference shows good signs of a future collaboration with Bluesquare and INAM where the implementation of a simplified digital ecosystem will allow INAM to ensure, in the short term, a more harmonious management of the free health care policy and, in the medium term, the national deployment of health insurance for the formal and informal sectors. 

During this conference, Bluesquare was represented by Rodrigue Sohouenou and Léandre Sohounde, and from AEDES by Olivier Barthes and Matthieu Antony.