FG to fully implement the National Health Act in 2017 – Minister of Health

Friday 5 August 2016

By James Bigila, Media Coordinator

The Honourable Minister of Health (State), Dr. Osagie Ehanire has expressed the government’s commitment to fully implement the National Health Act in 2017 with provisions made for the implementation of the act in 2017.

He expressed this commitment while receiving Save the Children Nigeria team led by Dr. David Olayemi, Director for Advocacy and Campaigns, Dr. Abimbola Williams, Head of Health and other members of the health team from Save the Children.

Dr David Olayemi from Save the Children during his opening remarks to the Honorable Minister

Nigeria’s National Health Bill was signed into law by Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on December 9, 2014. The Nigerian Senate passed the National Health Bill into law following its 3rd reading at the National Assembly.

The aim of the Act is to establish a framework for the Regulation, Development and Management of a National Health System, to set standards for rendering health services in the Federation and other matters concerned therewith

The Act is set to achieve the Universal Health Coverage and meet the Millennium Development Goal ( MDGs) target. The Act also provides for the elimination of quacks from professionalism and provide basic health funds needed by Nigerians

The Act was also enacted for the purpose of providing healthcare insurance to certain class of people who are actually deprived

The Act seeks to help Nigeria reduce maternal and infant mortality rate. More pregnant women would have access to free delivery services while their children are assured of standard pediatric services in the nation’s health facilities

The Act provides that there would be improved funding of health care services at the grass root so that people don’t have to travel far to access medical services. Through this Act states can also participate in improving health centers through a counterpart fund that would enable them benefit from the consolidated funds.

Despite the act been passed into law, much has not been achieved towards the implementation of the act, hence Save the Children’s call on government and its agencies towards the full implementation of the act across the nation.

The global Campaign which recently got launched by Save the Children was also introduced to the Minister as Dr. Olayemi stressed that more work needs to be done in ensuring that every Nigerian child is protected, has access to quality health care and is also educated to at least Junior Secondary School in the country.

In his opening remarks, Dr David Olayemi from Save the Children thanked the Honourable Minister for opening his doors to Save the Children, the visit been the first to the Honourable Minister since inception of the new administration. He expressed Save the Children’s commitment to partner with the Nigerian government towards health issues as it relates with Nigerian Children.

Dr. Olayemi congratulated the Ministry of Health for achieving a Polio free Nigeria for two years running. He said “We also want to congratulate you and Nigerians because Nigeria is marking the second year of polio elimination in Nigeria.”

Dr. Olayemi also expressed happiness with the government’s school feeding program which is been piloted and also the universal health coverage aimed at providing 10,000 primary health care centers that are well refurbished to cater for the health needs of Nigerians even in the rural communities.

He said “As government focuses on funding for Immunization, Nutrition, new born health, we believe there is a lot to be done and Save the children will partner with government to make sure we make a lot of progress”.

In corroborating the efforts of government towards the implementation of the National Health act, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire expressed the commitment of Government towards the full implementation of the National Health Act and thanked Save the Children for their efforts in Routine Maternal and Child health initiatives in Nigeria.

He said much work has been done on the implementation process with State and Federal government working our modalities for the full implementation of the Act by the year 2017.

Also speaking during the advocacy visit, Dr. Evelyn Ngige, Head of Primary Health Department expressed satisfaction with the work of Save the Children and urged the organisation to do more in covering more states in Nigeria.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire also agreed to the proposal by Save the Children to train health workers as the government drives the refurbishment and establishment of the 10,000 primary health care centres in the country.

The State of the Nigerian report which highlights the performance of Nigerian Children based on indices of Nutrition, Immunization, Protection and Education was also presented to the Honourable Minister of Health by the Director of Advocacy and Campaigns at Save the Children, Dr. David Olayemi.

The Minister recieving the State of the Nigerian Children report 2015 from Save the Children

Save the Children is calling on the Minister’s leadership in ensuring that Nigeria remains Polio free by reaching all Nigerian Children with Vaccines, ensuring the effective implementation of the National Health Act and also the roll out and implementation of the task shifting and sharing policy approved by the National Council of Health.

The team from Save the Children also solicited the Minister’s support towards the activation of the National Council on Nutrition as stipulated in the National Nutrition Policy.

The team from Save the Children and Federal Ministry of Health