The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) says effective leadership of the health Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the sub-national level is a necessary ingredient for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The Director General, NGF Secretariat, Asishana Okauru, stated this yesterday in Abuja, during the top team effectiveness retreat for leadership of health MDAs at subnational level organised by the NGF in collaboration with the Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum (NHCF).
Okauru lauded the leadership of the commissioners of health forum for its proactiveness and commitment towards building a stronger health system, and increasing visibility and participation at the federal level.
He said, “This is important towards ensuring that lessons from the states are reflected in the design and conceptualization of national policies and programmes.”
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He said the retreat was a landmark event as it was the first time, that the leadership of health MDAs at the subnational level from all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), comprising the commissioners of health, the executive secretaries/CEOs of the state social health insurance agencies, state Primary Health Care boards and state drug agencies, came together under one roof to review the structural, political, interpersonal and contextual barriers and challenges affecting the effectiveness of the state health leadership teams, and to collectively chart a course towards addressing them.
The chairman, Nigeria Health Commissioners’ Forum (NHCF) and Ekiti State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr Filani Oyebanji, said if the leadership of the various agencies at sub-national levels align, it will percolate downwards to the directorates, and programme officers among others, and in turn ensure high impact services for the populace.
The Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Borno State, Prof Mohammed Arab Alhaji, said focusing on collaboration and integration of all health services as well as working as a team would address challenges and ensure a better health sector at the sub-national levels.
The Executive Secretary, Kano State Contributory Healthcare Management Agency, said communication gaps and overlapping of the roles between MDAs and the ministries of health were common challenges across the states.