The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has restated the Federal Government’s commitment to implement the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) 11.
The Minister stated this during the Strategic Retreat for Principal Officers of the Health Committee of the 9th National Assembly which took place at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
He said, “the health sector has principal instruments that determine and guide the organizational thrust as well as this present Administration’s agenda and passion for a healthy Nigeria”. The National Health Policy developed in 2016 and the NSHDP 11 (2018-2022) if faithfully implemented will help attain this goal.
He said “the goal of the policy is to strengthen Nigeria’s present fragile health system, particularly the Primary Health Care (PHC) sub-system. Ehanire explained that the mission is to provide the health sector stake holders with a framework to harness resources to develop health towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage, as enshrined in the National Health Act (2014) in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking further the Minister said, “the objective is to develop and implement appropriate policies and programmes and undertake other necessary actions that will strengthen the National Health System to enable it deliver effective, quality and affordable health”. He stated that access to affordable healthcare for all is a cardinal element of Universal Health Coverage, to which Nigeria subscribed as a global agenda item of SDGs.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Health Senator (Dr.) Ibrahim Oloriegbe in his welcome address said the retreat was put together to acquaint Principal Officers of both chambers of the National Assembly Health Committee on the present policy thrust in Nigeria’s Health Sector, to define a collective broad legislative health agenda for the health sector for the next four years, as well as synergize and improve working relations and cohesion amongst the Health Committees of the National Assembly, the Executives, Development Partners and other Stakeholders to achieve optimal impact in healthcare reforms.
Dr. Clement Peters, representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in a goodwill message said that legislative agenda has the purpose of focusing, catalyzing and mobilizing political actors towards achieving Universal Health Care (UHC) through policy dialogue and high-level political engagement. Similarly, Country Director, World Bank, represented by Rachid Benmessaoudi commended the 9th National Assembly for organizing the retreat and observed that it will help to emphasize the social contract with Nigerians on Health Care Service delivery particularly for the teeming poor rural dwellers and vulnerable people in Nigeria.
Also present at the retreat were representatives of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, European Union (EU), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) amongst others.
AD (Press & Public Relations)