Leadership and Governance for Health

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Nigerian Government Launches the National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015) on December 16th 2010 in Abuja

Nigerian Government Launches the National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015) on December 16th 2010 in Abuja

The Government of Nigeria through its Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday, the 16th of December officially launched the National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015), as well as signed the Health Compact with Development Partners at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja in a well-attended ceremony.

Present at the event were top government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, heads of donor agencies, NGOs, civil society organizations among others.Top Government officials that were present include the Representativ of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ,Alhaji Yayale Ahmed,the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Shamshudeeen Usman, the Minister of National Planning, Prof. Onyebuchi Nwosu, the Honourable Minister of Health, Hajia Amina Al-zubbair, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, among other dignatories.

Alhaji Yayale Ahmed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation signed on behalf of the Government of Nigeria while the Development Partners Group on Health were represented by the Chair, Jane Miller (DFID) and co-chair, Dr Peter Eriki (out-going WHO Representative). The Donor Agencies that signed the compact or sent in letters of support include DFID, USG, JICA, CIDA, EU, GTZ, World Bank, AfDB, WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP etc.

The NSHDP document was developed after series of consultations and engagement with stakeholders across Nigeria’s 36 States and the Directorate of Health Planning, Research and Statistics served as the coordinating secretariat. Technical and Funding support were provided by bilateral and multilateral agencies operating in Nigeria as well as the International Health Partners Plus (IHP+) which helped in developing the Health Compact.

The NSHDP which is a successor to the previous Health Sector Reform Program (2003-2007) aligns with health sector component of the newly developed Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 Policy document. The document which is duly costed incorporates a clearly defined Results Framework with which to measure performance based on the outlined 8 priority areas to be given attention;

  1. Leadership and Governance for Health
  2. Health Services Delivery
  3. Human Resources for Health
  4. Financing for Health
  5. National Health Information System
  6. Community Participation and Ownership
  7. Partnerships for Health
  8. Research for Health

The NSHDP document was officially approved at the March 2010 National Council on Health which was held at Asaba Delta State and it essentially is encompasses the individual State Health Plans of the 36 states, as well as the Federal Plan to be directly implemented by the Federal Ministry of Health.

One major highlight of the NSHDP is the emphasis on Joint Annual Review (JAR) of the state of implementation by the combined evaluation team made up of the representatives of Health Ministry and its parastatals and agencies who were expected to work with a team of Independent Consultants. The first 2010 JAR on the level of implementation of the NSHDP was conducted in six States that were selected from the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria between October and November 2010. Preliminary findings from the review were presented to a well-attended stakeholder’s forum at Transcorp Hilton Hotel on Friday, 3rd December 2010, and this would be shared widely during the National Council on Health in January 2011.

At the early stages of the development of the document, efforts were made to get the commitment and political will of the 36 State Governors. To ensure commitment from political office holders, the first Presidential Health Summit was held in Abuja in November 2009 during which Nigeria’s late leader, President Musa Yardua, the erstwhile Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan (Currently the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria) and the 36 State Governors signed a Health Compact; thus committing to provide support and funding for the provision of essential package of healthcare to the citizens of their respective states, nay Nigeria. At the summit the State Governors for the first time, were presented with a league table detailing the health indices of their respective states. In addition, a documentary on the dismal state of health care in Nigeria developed by the DFID-sponsored PATHS 2 Project was presented to the Governors and other stakeholders.

And with the official launch of the NSHDP and signing of IHP+ a major huddle has now been scaled in the drive to ensure alignment and harmonization of efforts between the government (federal and states) and development partners. In essence, the NSHDP is the only plan that would be implemented through the joint efforts of the government and partners, and this will be benchmarked annually using the one results framework and M&E framwork to be conducted by a joint team of government and development partners.

Health Economics and Policy Network in Africa (HEPNet) holds International Workshop in Abuja Nigeria

HPRG hosts Health Economics and Policy Network in Africa (HEPNet) 2010 International Workshop in Abuja 2010

The Health Policy Reseach Group (HPRG) Enugu successfully hosted the 2010 International Workshop of the Health Economics and Policy Network in Africa (HEPNET) for Africa in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria from November 29th - December 1st 2010. Delegates from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sweden were in attendance. Representatives of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Donor Agencies, NGOs, Researchers, Policy Analysts, and Health Economists participated. The theme for the workshop was on the “National Responses to Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa” and abstracts were received from over 20 participants who presented papers at the event.

The 2010 workshop was memorable in several ways. For instance, the meeting coincided with the 2010 Abuja Carnival which through which the culture of Nigeria is showcased in its diverse forms. The quality of papers presented was high and the social events introduced by the HPRG added spice to the program and this helped in strengthening the bond among the members. Participants from other African countries had the opportunity visiting some landmark places in Abuja as well experiencing the best of local Nigerian cuisine, cultural dances and folk drama in an ambient environment.

The international workshop in Nigeria would be the last in the series since HEPNET as an organization would be winding up by the end of 2010 having been active since 2000. HEPNet served as a network that brought together health economists and policy analysts from 37 institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and it was set up to build in-depth expertise in health economics and health policy analysis in order to improve health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Though HEPNet as a network is winding up in the participating countries, some of its activities would continue in Nigeria. According to the HEPNet Secretariat at the Health Economics Unit of the University of Cape Town, a follow-up project may likely succeed HEPNet which was established through the funding support received from Swedish SIDA to develop local capacity in health economics and policy in the participating African countries.

HEPNet members were encouraged to maintain and sustain the already established networks among themselves, and it is instructive to note that some members of the network from different countries in Africa have started seeking for opportunities to collaborate in research projects in their respective countries.