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The National Health Policy of Nigeria

National Health Policy (2016)

Nigeria’s first Health Policy was launched in 1988 “The National Health Policy and Strategy to achieve health” for all Nigerians, and was subsequently revised in 2004.

With new trends, realities and the unfinished agenda of the MDGs and SDGs, the National Health Act and the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP) (2010 -2015), its became necessary to develop a new policy.

The National Health Act serves as the Legal framework for the policy.

A situation analysis prior to the development of the policy revealed that based on the NSHDP and WHO building blocks there is almost an absence of a financial risk protection. It also revealed that and access to health services largely dependent on socioeconomic status and geographical location among others.

Vision: Universal Health Coverage for all Nigerians

Mission: To provide stakeholders in health with a comprehensive framework for harnessing all resources for health development towards the achievement of universal health coverage as encapsulated in the National Health Act in tandem with the sustainable development.

Policy Goal: To strengthen the health system particularly the primary healthcare subsystem, to deliver effective, accessible, efficient equitable, affordable, acceptable and comprehensive healthcare services to all Nigerians.

Policy thrusts: Governance, Health Services, Health Financing; Human Resources for Health; Medicines, Vaccines, Commodities, and Health Technologies; Health Infrastructure; Health Information systems; Health Research and Development; Community ownership/ Participation; and Partnerships for Health.

The policy will be implemented through the development and implementation of a series of National Strategic Health Development Plans, each covering a period of 5 years.

Specific indicators for monitoring progress will be fully specified in the National Strategic Health Development Plans.

All states are expected to adapt the policy contexts and develop their corresponding Strategic Health Development Plans accordingly.

National Strategic Health Development Plan

In January 2017, the minister of Health, Prof Adewale announced that the Technical Working Group for the development of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan had been inaugurated and was fully driving the process.

He explained that the framework and guidelines will be used at both the Federal and State levels to develop their specific plans These plans will then be harmonized, costed and annual health budgets derived from it.

On the 18th of May 2017, stakeholders converged in Abuja to validate the draft of the National Strategic Health Development Plan Framework II.

The framework will guide government at both states and federal levels to develop specific plans that will feed into the overall Health Strategic Plan.

The Minister of Health encouraged states to develop state-specific plans (even at the local government level) using NSHDP II framework as a guide to achieve coherence between local operational plans and the national strategic plan.

The NSHDP II framework founded on the eight pillars of the health system, links health service delivery with system strengthening which include: Leadership and Governance for Health; Health Service Delivery; Human Resources for Health; Financing for Health; National Health Management Information System; Partnerships for Health; Community Participation and Ownership; and Research for Health.

The validation workshop was attended by the Minister of Health, the Minister of State for Health, Commissioners of Health from all 36 States, Development Partners and other stakeholders.

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