Togo: Government engages Stakeholders in Universal Health Insurance Implementation

In a significant development on November 20, 2023, in Lomé, Togo, a crucial meeting unfolded to deliberate on the operationalization of Universal Health Insurance (UHI). This inclusive gathering comprised government representatives and individuals engaged in self-employment, liberal professions, and the informal sector. The primary objective was to strengthen social cohesion, foster national solidarity, and alleviate the burden of healthcare expenses on families.

Four government officials spearheaded this interactive session, engaging with self-employed individuals and those active in the informal economy.

The distinguished ministers included Gilbert Bawara of Civil Service, Labour, and social dialogue; Moustafa Mijiyawa of Health and Public Hygiene; Jean-Marie Koffi Ewonoule Tessi of Universal Access to Healthcare; and Myriam Dossou-d’Almeida of Grassroots Development, Youth, and Youth Employment.

The stakeholders were apprised of the Head of State’s vision to extend Universal Health Insurance (UHI) to their strata.

The primary objectives were to inform participants of the measures already in place, solicit their feedback, and garner approval and suggestions regarding their contribution amounts and the spectrum of healthcare services to be offered.

The collective aim was to progress towards the effective implementation of the AMU, slated to become operational from January 1, 2024, aligning with the President’s aspirations.

A decade ago, Togo initiated mandatory health insurance, initially targeting civil servants and retirees affiliated with the Retirement Fund of Togo (CRT), managed by the National Health Insurance Institute (INAM).

Concurrently, various state-level provisions were introduced to aid vulnerable segments, such as the Wézou and School Assur programs for primary and secondary school students.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Health has implemented diverse programs combatting prevalent health issues like malaria, leprosy, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and parasitosis, achieving substantial success in disease elimination.

Acknowledging the challenges in healthcare accessibility, the Minister of Health, Prof. Moustafa Mijiyawa, emphasized, «The President has directed the government to strive for the widespread adoption of health insurance, ensuring all segments of the population enjoy streamlined healthcare access. This vision materializes in the introduction of the UHI, a reform that necessitates mobilization from all social strata, positioning them not only as beneficiaries but also as pivotal contributors to Togolese society».

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