Network for Health Equity and Development (NHED), a None Governmental Organisation, has expressed satisfaction with the support which governors of 36 states of Nigeria gave it in the quest to reduce maternal child mortality and other health challenges in the states across the country.
Presenting 2,000 copies of advocacy tools on reduction of maternal child mortality and other health challenges in the states, to the Director General of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Asishana Okauru, in Abuja, the Chairman of NHED, Dr. Shehu Sule described the partnership with the NGF secretariat as very supportive.
He said that the secretariat made good contributions that have helped in developing the tools.
Dr. Shehu, who led a delegation to the NGF secretariat, expressed the hope that the tools will help to further improve the health care delivery in the country.
According to him, the advocacy team would work within the two year span, 2019 to 2019 it was given to complete all the targets, to reduce maternal and child mortality and other killer diseases.
Dr. Shehu said that the Programme is funded purely by the Bill and Belinda Gate Foundation, with the sole purpose of using the NGF platform to improve commitment of governors to Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR).
He explained that Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) is to be implemented in line with the National Health Act that was passed in 2015.
“It is to help ensure that we have good advocacy for maternal and child health programmes in Nigeria.”
Dr. Shehu said that the two objectives of NHED that has to do with NGF are: to support the NGF secretariat in advocating for the establishment of Primary Health Care in line with the Primary Health Care Under One Roof objective and to work with Federal Ministry of Health and National Primary Health Care Development Agency to generate evidence and tools for advocating to the NGF.
He said that already the staff of the NHED, NGF, the ministry of health and primary health care agency have begun work to generate the much needed evidence to do the work.
He said that the materials presented was worked on for seven months which included several meetings where ideas on what best form of advocacy should be adopted for the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR).
He said that there are nine pillars that were arrived at after feedbacks were received from all the executive secretaries of primary health care agency in the states.
Dr, Shehu said that it has been a very thorough process of consultation inclusiveness with all the stakeholders, adding that the next phase is to develop specific advocacy kits peculiar to each state of the federation. He said that these specific tools will be developed after a visit to each state to see their peculiar situations, a talk with each state governor during such visits as well as a final talk at the NGF.
In his remarks, Dr.Okauru said that the advocacy tools document were very comprehensive. He said the issues of health is a major priority for the NGF.
He said that the NGF secretariat tries to align the priorities of governments in the health sector with the kind of things expected to be seen in the states.
He said that the National Healthcare Act is a law with general applicability to all in the country. He said the Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR) is central to what any state should be doing at this time.
He described as unfortunate that people tend to run to the wrong place health plate form every time there is a challenge.
He said that the federal government wants all the basic health issues like immunization, malaria, vaccination and the likes to be handled at the primary health care.
He commended the Bill and Belinda Gate Foundation for focusing on this at this time as it aligns with a number of things the NGF is doing.
The DG assured that the NGF secretariat will study the advocacy tools documents and utilize the tools effectively.
He said that already the governors are having growing confidence in the primary health care following proper brief for relevant agencies concerned.
“If we don’t get healthcare right there is little you can go on in other sectors.”