Cabinet approves N6trn for health development plan

 Timothy Choji, Abuja


The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved the sum of N6 trillion for the implementation of Nigeria’s second National Strategic Health Development Plan for 2018-2022.

Minster of Health, Professor Isaac Adewale, announced this to journalists while briefing them on the outcome of the meeting, which was presided over by the country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

He said the plan replaces the first one, which ran from 2010 to 2015, which had 52 targets but only two were achieved.

According to him: “Council today approved a memo from the Federal Ministry of Health, on the National Strategic Health Development Plan II, covering the period 2018-2022. We had a previous plan I, which covered the period, 2010-2015.

“That plan had 52 targets but we only able to achieve less than two of them. So we spent a long time trying to put in place this second plan, which took us about two years to get it done.

“It involved all states of the federation, the Federal; Capital Territory FCT and all our development partners. The plan was approved at the National Council on Health meeting that took place in Kano on 21st of June, 2018.”

The Health Minister announced that the plan has five pillars and 15 priority areas, which include enabling environment for attainment of health sector goals, increased utilization of essential package of healthcare services, strengthening the health system and protection from health emergencies, as well as health financing.

Prtofessor Adewale said the aim of the new plan was to improve the healthcare delivery system across the country.

“In total, this new plan has 15 thematic areas, 48 strategic objectives and 282 interventions that will help us to really improve the healthcare delivery that we offer our people,” he said.

He said all stakeholders contributed in producing the comprehensive plan, which was later harmonised.

He said, if fully implemented, it will help Nigeria achieve a lot in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality.

“What is important is the stakeholder and strong health sector wide participation of states in the presentation. We went through a five-stage process. The states went to develop their plans. The federal developed ours. We came together, harmonised all the plans and we brought everybody together to validate and adopt the plan and then moved on to Kano for implementation.

” The entire projects meant for over five years will cost us over N6.071 trillion and we believe that if this funding is done, if the plans are implemented faithfully, we will achieve a 31 per cent reduction in maternal mortality. We will achieve 33 percent reduction in horizontal mortality and we will achieve fewer than five percent mortality reduction of 29 per cent.

“We are quite confident that this plan will usher Nigeria into a new era, and council in its wisdom, approved this plan for implementation. So, the next thing now will be to ask the states to commence implementation. Federal will commence and we will go to NEC and Governors’ Forum to secure the buy-in of the governors, so that this plan can be faithfully implemented,” he said.