Millennium Fellow In Nigeria Eradicating Poverty through Sustainable Healthcare

Most people approach poverty eradication through resource distribution or access to education. However, C, a student at Lagos State University and a 2019 Millennium Fellow, has taken a different approach. He started the Gifted Hands Initiative with the goal of bringing health insurance to all Nigerians irrespective of financial and social class in order to lift them out of poverty. 

Although the Nigerian government launched NHIS (National Health Insurance System) in 2015 this plan covers less than 10% of the population. According to David, the people who use this plan are disproportionately wealthy. This means that the most vulnerable populations in Nigeria do not have social or financial health protection. Around 70% of the Nigerian population lack access to basic health services due to outrageous health service prices. David is a part of this 70% block of Nigerians. Thus came the idea for his project. 

“The idea of this project is to raise the standard of living for people in poverty by subsidising health care fees and changing health insurance in Nigeria. I recognized a need an am prepared to work for it. I want to eradicate poverty but from the health side. I focus on eradicating poverty with health as my number one priority.”

He is currently challenging the insurance system in his country by starting grassroots campaigns and reaching out to local communities. He is educating people on how health and socioeconomics are closely related and how better health can allow people to lift themselves out of poverty. He believes that once health insurance is a national debate topic, people will rise up to demand better access to healthcare. He believes that the primary method for this revolution will be through social media coverage, particularly from his own generation. 

His second objective is to change the way that patients are attended to in the health care system. According to David, in many Nigerian hospital