Health Coalition Urges Comprehensive Review of Nigeria’s Health Policies, Seeks Civil Society Input

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The Nigeria Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Forum, comprising Civil Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), has called for a thorough reassessment of the country’s health sector policies to incorporate the perspectives of civil societies and citizens.

The appeal was made during a consultative meeting with Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, held at the Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

The coalition, actively engaged in various health development areas, including the Basic Healthcare Development Provision Fund (BHCPF) Accountability Framework, expressed optimism that the accountability framework could significantly support emerging policy directions from the Coordinating Minister.

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Dr. Gafar Alawode, the leader of the coalition and Chairman of the Health Sector Reform Coalition (HSRC) Health Financing Committee, emphasized the need for a re-examination of health policy thrusts. He highlighted the coalition’s desire to access detailed information on emerging policy directions to contribute effectively to implementation recommendations.

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During the meeting, Chief (Mrs.) Moji Makanjuola, a veteran health journalist, underscored the evolving role of health in national development and the expanding relevance of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) beyond the federal level. The coalition expressed its willingness to address accountability and transparency issues, seeking the support of the Honorable Minister. Emphasizing the importance of a multi-sectoral approach, strategic collaboration, and partnership, the coalition stressed the need for mobilizing citizens and CSOs at all levels to review new strategies and formulate a position paper for presentation to the Ministry.

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Dr. Alawode commended Prof. Muhammed Ali Pate for the substantial strides made in the health sector regarding policy thrusts.

In response, Prof. Pate reiterated the four cardinal areas of the administration’s policy direction: Effective Governance, efficient, equitable, and quality health systems; Unlocking value chain; Promoting clinical research and development; and Health security. He assured that the current administration, under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is committed to strategically mobilizing resources to achieve results, particularly at the point of service delivery.

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The Coordinating Minister established a committee to formulate the Basic Healthcare Provision Programme (BHCPP), which involves restructuring the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHCPF). Subsequently, the committee convened with a coalition of CSOs/NGOs to deliberate on essential aspects of the revamped BHCPF and the prominent features of the BHCPP. This gathering contributes to the ongoing consultative process facilitating the implementation of the BHCPP.

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