59TH NATIONAL COUNCIL ON HEALTH – Council adopts Second Strategic Health Development Plan

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Coco-Bassey Esu|29 January 2017 The 59th National Council on Health (NCH) meeting was flagged off on Thursday 26th, January 2017 by the Executive Governor of Abia state, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, at the international conference center Umuahia, the state capital. The NCH, represents the highest policy making body in the Nigerian health sector, which is statutorily convened at least once a year to enable stakeholders in health consider and deliberate on key issues of national importance to health. In his opening speech Dr. Ikpeazu narrated the achievements of the Abia state ministry of health since his assumption of office and also assured that his administration will continue to put health first. This is following the recent passing of the Abia state health insurance scheme bill by the state house of assembly. The Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, during his keynote address touched on issues cutting across the health sector ranging from Revitalization of Primary Healthcare Centers in Nigeria, Implementation of the National Health Act (NHAct) 2014, Efforts on Polio Eradication, Update on the fight against Tuberculosis, Health Sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis, Update on Lassa Fever Outbreaks, The Saving One Million Lives Initiative (SOML),The Rapid Results Initiative and Development of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP II); the new policy document is expected to ensure alignment with existing and emerging global and local health development movements. The Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, in her own remarks said the NCH is an avenue for the evaluation and implementation of policies, and also a road map to ensure the actualization of goals and targets set within the past year whilst speaking in favor of the proposed increased duration of maternity leave for women. The DG Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), Dr. Beta Edu, Directors from the Cross River State Ministry of Health and Development Partners working in the state were among the 801 delegates present at the event. The 60th NCH is expected to hold in Ogun State at a date yet to be fixed. It will be recalled that in September, 2016 during an emergency NCH meeting, the new National Health Policy for the Country was adopted. The new policy is expected to ensure that Nigeria is well positioned to enter into the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA) era with right enabling and supporting policy environment.
The minister also launched two books titled “Accelerating TB Case Finding in 2017” and “End TB Strategy”. The books are a written opinion of the honorable minister on the prevailing TB cases in the country and ways by which the incidence can be curbed. Prior to the flag off the Honorable Minister and his PermSec alongside some select commissioners paid a courtesy visit to the state Governor and his deputy where they discussed on ways to strengthen the health sector of the country among other things. Coco-Bassey Esu
Writes from Calabar