Despite all efforts by governments towards the reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality, women and children die endlessly. This concern made the Federal Ministry of health engage other stakeholders to develop a strategic Roadmap to be a springboard to accelerate reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality.
This roadmap aligns with existing policy document and the national strategy and is expected to guide implementation of key priority steps at the states and the community levels.
The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stated this at the on-going 62nd National Council of Health, in Asaba, Delta State. In his speech, the Minister said that actualizing Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) targets on maternal and neonatal mortality is a great task for the health sector.
In his words, he said “It underscores the importance of launching and disseminating the Roadmap on accelerated reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality in Nigeria to sensitize State level political leaders and stakeholders on the need to overcome the impediments to improving maternal and newborn health.”
Launching the document in Asaba, Dr. Ehanire hoped that the efforts would encourage states to implement the “Key Priority Actions Points in the Roadmap”. He also advised the Executive Governor of Delta State, Dr. Efeanyi Arthur Okowa, to rally support among his colleagues in implementing the roadmap.
He further charged all Governors of the 36 States and FCT to, as a matter of urgency, commit and implement national policies on maternal and newborn health, particularly the roadmap and also dedicate a budget line with appropriate allocation released on time for RMNCAH and nutrition interventions at all levels.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, said that the meeting provided an opportunity for all stakeholders in the health sector, both the new and the old to be on the same page “in our journey towards the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).”
Dr. Mamora noted that this would only be feasible when the Primary Health Care Centers are adequate and functional. In trying to achieve this, Dr. Mamora, maintained that all stakeholders in the health sector had collectively put in place necessary policies and programmes, which, when effectively implemented would take the sector to the promise land of UHC.
He however cautioned that actions aligned with the thrusts and priorities of the national health policy and plan, programmes and projects, adding that “there is a need to work closely with all stakeholders especially the States and the development partners to ensure steady progress.
Dr. Mamora commended Governor Efeanyi Okowa, for his exemplary action and commitment to improving the health sector, which he described, as an eloquent demonstration of the importance he has attached to healthcare delivery to Nigerians.
In his speech, the Executive Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said that a strong and stable Primary Health Care system is a veritable tool in achieving Universal Health Coverage. According to recent survey, only 20% of Primary Healthcare centers are fully functional. In his optimism, Dr. Okowa hoped that the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) would come to the rescue of many States in this regards.
It is important for Nigeria to ascertain the level of development and achievement in the health sector, as it is key in our efforts towards the implementation of the 2nd National Strategic Development Plan.
To this end, the Governor said there is a need to push for Private sector participation in the issue of Healthcare, as they serve as strategic support towards effective healthcare delivery.
He hoped that the NCH meeting would come up with viable proposals to take the sector to greater heights.
Goodwill messages were given by Representatives of development partners: World Health Organization, UNICEF, USAID, Committee of Chief Medical Directors of Federal Tertiary Health Institutions and HERFON, amongst others.
Head, Press and Public Relations