Over 215 million people live outside their countries of birth. The migration of people from low-income to high-income regions has been a longstanding mechanism for remittances (money transfers back home) and economic development, but this process has been largely haphazard.
In many countries, these remittances are greater than the total health expenditure. According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s Diaspora is responsible for the largest remittance inflows into sub-Saharan Africa. It is well known that many emigrants i.e. the diaspora still have close relatives back home and health care for them is one of their top priorities. It is difficult for diaspora to manage their relatives’ healthcare needs from the diaspora because they are far away, the people back home do not have access to quality medical care and/or they do not have someone trustworthy to take care of things.
With less than 10% of the population with health insurance coverage, we at DHI Health services believe if leveraged appropriately, diaspora remittances could be used to significantly improve access to quality health care by enabling remitters and recipients to target their funds to trusted healthcare providers located in the home country.