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National Health Act Working Group holds first Inaugural Meeting

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By Ndidi Chukwu

The Technical Working Group (TWG) saddled with the responsibility of providing technical support to the Federal Ministry of Health for the implementation of the Health Act on Thursday 23rd April had its first inaugural meeting. The Permanent Secretary, Federal ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, charged members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) to dedicate themselves to their assignment in order to ensure a successful implementation of the Act.

Mr. Awute made this call while speaking at the inaugural meeting of the group on the implementation of the National Health Act (NHACT) held in Abuja. In his opening address, he said that the Act is seen as one of the greatest dividends of the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the health sector.

He added that the act if successfully implemented will renew Nigerian health system where the roles of various actors are clearly understood and adhered to towards greater efficiency.Mr. Awute also said that it will re-emphasise and strengthen the role of primary health care as the bedrock of the National Health system, amongst others.

The Permanent Secretary stressed that in recognition of the potential benefits in the successful implementation of the NHACT, the committee cannot afford to fail Nigerians. The Committee which is chaired by the Minister of health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, has the Permanent secretary as the co-chair. The terms of reference of the committee includes the following:

To provide overall  technical support to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) in implementing the National Health Act in Nigeria, in line with the National Health Policy and NSHDP

  1. To develop a detailed Media and Advocacy plain/ toolkits to ensure widespread support for implementation of the national health act
  2. To carry out other function related to the implementation of the national health act as may be directed by the Minister of Health
  3. To play advisory role to the FMOH and relevant Parastatals /Agencies,
  4. To develop National Health Act implementation Guidelines /Manual which includes a comprehensive Monitoring & Evaluation/Performance Framework.

Mr. Awute emphasized that the committee has the obligation to come up with recommendations and strategies for the implementation of the Act in a most effective and efficient manner.

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