The MNCH2 NTL, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo had a meeting with the Honorable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole on 4th May 2015 in his office in Abuja. The meeting was aimed at strengthening the partnership between the MNCH2 programme and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) towards improving and sustaining delivery of MNCH services in Northern Nigeria and Nigeria in general in line with the new vision of the FMOH. During the meeting, Dr Anas Kolo briefed the Honourable Minister about the MNCH2 programme and the efforts that the programme is making towards improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in the six MNCH2 focal states in Northern Nigeria. Dr. Salma reiterated that MNCH2 will expedite actions in its engagement at strategic level with FMOH and other federal agencies including NPHCDA, NHIS to strengthen the already existing partnership.
The Honorable Minister who is also a health advocate, a professor of gynecology and obstetrics and before his appointment as minister was the vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan and president of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer; expressed his appreciation to MNCH2 noting that the meeting provided him with the opportunity to understand the contributions of MNCH2 programme to strengthening the Nigeria health system. He further stressed his commitment to ensuring that there will be 10,000 functional and efficient PHCs by 2019 with full complement of health services to improve healthcare delivery system in the country. Further discussions were held on the outcomes and efforts in governance and systems strengthening of the FMOH, and its agencies. New areas of collaboration were further identified and agreed upon during the meeting.
The Honorable Minister explained that the meeting had given him an opportunity to understand how MNCH2 will make direct contributions towards attainment and realization of the Minister’s commitment to Nigerians on delivering 10,000 functional PHCs by 2019. The Minister explained that he appreciates the efforts of MNCH2, pledged continued collaboration and requested for additional support in the areas mentioned below:
- Harmonize the ongoing support on PHC strengthening in the focal states with FMOH facilities identified for strengthening as part of effort to achieve 10,000 PHCs functional with residence for skilled workers located within the PHC premises.
- Though, it was clearly mentioned that MNCH2 does not construct new building, but renovates and rehabilitates. The Honourable Minister agreed to collaborate with MNCH2 to fill in the gaps by providing the residence within the PHCs.
- MNCH to provide technical support to the research component of the ministry to be effective and functional in addressing research needs in Nigeria and guidance on research to States,
- The Honourable Minister showed interest in organizing a National Conference on MNCH with a view to advocate, mobilize and engage with partners for better service delivery,
- The Minister promised to support MNCH2 in its programme implementation at state levels by conducting visits MNCH2 facilities in the states whenever it coincides with the Minister’s scheduled official assignments to the state.
- It was agreed that, MNCH2 will make an in-depth technical presentation to the Honourable Minister of Health and his technical team for better understanding, collaboration and harmonization of joint efforts in the focal states and scale up best practices nationwide. 3rd to 4th week of June 2016 was proposed for the technical meeting.
Some of the areas of focus were listed as
- Contribute the FMOH vision of realization of 10,00PHCS
- Facilitate and provide technical support to NHIS in the National Health act and other financing opportunities,
- MNCH2 to proactively engage strategically at Federal level and deepen support for Family planning activities,
- Prioritize National Health act and support development of the guidelines
- Support development and finalization of the NHSDP and the new policy on Health, which is being developed to align with the vision.
- Support and provide technical support to strengthening the HRIS, HMIS and HRH component of the FMOH
- Support and facilitate strengthening of the Research unit of FMOH
- Support to strengthen the Monitoring and evaluation unit of FMOH, conduct of surveys and DHS led by the ministry.
- Salma will continue to lead the Rapid Response Initiative team on nutrition, as part of the Minister’s commitment to treat 200,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition in 12 States of the North (six of which overlaps with MNCH2 focal states).