The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has inaugurated the Lafiya Oversight Committee, a seven-year programme of the UK Government support to strengthen Nigeria’s Health System.
Dr Ehanire inaugurated the committee in his Conference Room at the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja on Thursday 19th January, 2023 and charged members to take responsibilities, stressing that States and Local Government should contribute at least 1% of their resources towards the sustainability of the project.
According to the Minister, the objectives of the Committee are to: “Provide strategic oversight for the programme, review programme progress and whether they sufficiently address challenges, review and sign off the portfolio aim and objectives for the year ahead and any significant changes in direction.”
The Committee has the following membership: Honourable Minister of Health – Chair, Executive Director National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA), Director General National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Director General, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and Directors: Department of Family Health and Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics as well as State Health Commissioners of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Borno and Yobe States.
Other members according to Ehanire are: “WHO, the World Bank, USAID, European Union and International Rescue Committee (IRC), FCDO Human Development Team and Palladium International while the Secretariat is to be determined later.”
While commending the UK Government for support over the years, particularly towards the National Health Sector COVID-19 Pandemic Response Action Plan, the Minister also urged them to do more, by expanding the scope of their programmes and coverage to other parts of the country.
Earlier the Leader of the Team of Lafiya Programme, Dr Jabu Nyenwa, informed that the UK Government has been supporting the Government of Nigeria for the past twenty-five years but that the Lafiya Programme is currently the health sector flagship programme of the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Organization (FCDO) and not just in Nigeria but across the globe, adding that health is hugely important and a shared priority for both the UK and Nigeria Governments.
Dr. Nyenwa highlighted the three important principles of the programme to include: Government of Nigeria’s leadership and ownership, the principle of equity and the principle of adaptiveness, which he said aligns with the strategies of the Federal Government on Health.
On his part, the Senior Health Advisor, FCDO, Dr. Samson Agbo said that the Lafiya programme was designed as a transformative, flexible and adaptive programme that is a kind of demand driven approach compared to a needs-based approach.
The Lafiya programme is a seven-year UK Government support through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office which began in February 2020. The programme is delivered by a consortium of seven partners led by the Palladium Group and its objective is to contribute to improving health outcomes for the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria through: encouraging the Government of Nigeria to increase resources invested in health; improving effectiveness and efficiency of public and private basic health for services; and improved access to modern contraceptive methods. It currently has presence in Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe states.
Present at the Inauguration both physically and virtually include: Commissioner of Health, Borno State, Professor M. A. Alhaji, Some Directors of the Ministry as well as some Heads of Parastatals and Agencies of the Ministry.
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