President Muhammadu Buhari recently in Abuja received an award as the champion for the global eradication of sickle cell disease by the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).

In his acceptance speech, the President appreciated NIPRD for the award and specifically commended the Director-General for the tremendous efforts at ensuring innovation at NIPRD.

He commended the institute over the research and development of phytomedicines, drugs, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and biological products from indigenous Nigerian herbs.

According to Buhari, “I am impressed by the achievements of the agency in meeting her objectives and in ensuring the provision of responsive solutions to the problems of health across Nigeria.

“I recall that in previous years, people with sickle cell disorder were predisposed to numerous health complexities, including the intricacies of a short life expectancy.

“However, these shortcomings have been substantially minimized following the development of NIPRISAN. Attaining this milestone has not only provided a means of sickle cell management but has also aided medicine security and a boost of our local Research and Development.”

On his part as the Minister of health, Ehanire applauded NIPRD and its management team for reforming the research and development approach of the institute.

He said that NIPRD had developed projects which are aimed at improving access to health, whilst also expediting National socio-economic development, especially in the areas of job creation, capacity building, and revenue generation.

The Minister said that the increasing burden of communicable diseases in the country called for concern, adding that this has the potential to threaten recent gains recorded in the health sector.

Dr. Ehanire said he is particularly optimistic of the ability of the country to overcome the menace of sickle cell disease in a few years from now due to “our collective resolve and commitment in reducing the burden.”

The Minister also commended the NIPRD for the move it made to see that the COVID-19 pandemic became a thing of the past.

The Minister of state for health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, read the citation of President Buhari at the event.

 Also speaking during the presentation of the award, the Director-General of the institute, Dr. Obi Adigwe stated that the award was basically to brief the President on the recent achievements of the Institute.

The DG disclosed that the award was instituted to honor President Buhari and his administration for the support NIPRD had received towards the promotion of herbal medication therapies in Nigeria.

He said that these accomplishments of the institute have been supported by the current administration which has empowered NIPRD to champion the eradication of sickle cell disease.

He added that NIPRD had contributed to the conceptual innovations to mitigate the devastating effects and disorder of the disease across the sub-Sahara African region.

NIPRD is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health with a mandate to engage in activities that promote capacity building, policy-making, data collation, drug distribution, and the development of contextual partnerships that can expedite access to health care, he said.

The Director-General maintained that NIPRD would continue to set the pace for responsive innovativeness in our nation’s research. As a center of excellence, the institution is charged with the responsibility of undertaking research and development that aims toward improving the health and well-being of Nigerians.

“NIPRD, therefore, takes a firm lead in contextual healthcare solutions by developing cutting edge interventions that will dominate the African landscape over the next two decades,” he said

The Dr. Adigwe said that in Nigeria and across the vast expanse of the African continent, sickle cell disease has been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) to have challenged civilization and economy.

He said that about 80 percent of sickle cell disease cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, and evidence suggests that Nigeria has the largest population of persons affected with the disorder, recording a high mortality rate for children under 5 years of age.

According to the DG, with the support of President Mohammadu Buhari, NIPRD convened and developed a phytomedicine verification and validation protocol to ascertain the safety and efficacy of indigenous resources.

He added that the institute had since been championing innovative strategies for the production of medications that possess reasonable activities such as NIPRIMUNE and NIPRIMUNE PLUS against COVID-19.

Dr. Adigwe said that both medication substances have been listed by NAFDAC and are currently undergoing various levels of clinical studies toward approval for social production for emergency use.

Other development partners like the WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others as well as Directors of the Ministry, witnessed the Award ceremony.




By Kasie-Agu Constance (SIO)

The Federal Government is set to rollout the National Emergency Medical Service and Ambulance System (NEMSAS) with the signing of a multi-sectoral Memorandum of Understanding for its operationalization and launch of the implementation manual.

Speaking at the Signing Ceremony on Monday in Abuja, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the program is part of the continuous effort of the Federal Ministry of Health to respond to unmet needs in life-threatening medical emergencies.

The Honourable Minister said the scenario ranges from injury and illness across the human life course, regardless of gender, age group or circumstance, and deliver prompt care on site, and transportation to accredited centres, to enter the health system for definitive care. According to him, the service is without financial conditions imposed on the patient within the first 48 hours.

“Service given this way removes barriers and saves lives in highly time-dependent emergency, as part of the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services and Emergency Medical Treatment promised in the 2014 National Health Act.”

Similarly, he added that NEMSAS is the operational arm of the third disbursement gateway, designated in the National Health Act with 5% of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund for Emergency Medical Treatment.

“This is meant to provide urgent health service to citizens at the moment and place of great health distress. To have the impact intended, a significant feature of NEMSAS is that medical care is offered at no immediate out-of-pocket cost to the beneficiary, at Point of care”. “The entire Emergency Medical Service relies on a functional facility network of Primary and Secondary Health centers. The partnership with private care providers is indispensable in bridging what would be gaps in infrastructure network. Beyond supporting citizen health, this program will create jobs and improve quality of life and stabilize society. “

In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora said that there is no better time to unveil this laudable initiative than now.

According to him, “it is no surprise that the event is taking place today being Valantine’s Day, as the initiative is all about showing love and giving to humanity”.

He urged all stakeholders to keep their part of the bargain for the smooth running of the programme as well ensuring its sustainability. He also expressed the optimism that with everyone playing their part, the project would be a success.

Permanent Secretary, FMoH, Mahmuda Mamman, who was ably represented by Dr. Alex Okoh, Director in the Department of Public Health, said that NEMSAS was established by Government to provide effective and efficient emergency medical service for domestic medical emergencies and accidents and through the use of designated and accredited hospitals and Ambulance services.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the key stake holders in this Partnership include: Government and partner agencies concerned such as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Association of Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (APMPN), the Guild of Medical Director (GMD), and the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) which he said would boost collaboration to facilitate the implementation of the aims and objectives of NEMSAS.

He added that the collaboration will serve the purpose of providing efficient and effective emergency medical service with full complimentary coverage as part of achieving the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and national emergency medical service provision.

Earlier, the National Programme Manager of NEMSAS, Dr. Saidu Dumbulwa said emergency medical systems are a critical component of national health systems in our country.

“We need to pay specific attention to implementation of NEMSAS and ensure that the evolution of the EMS is both evidence based and appropriate to our national needs as NEMSAS programme.” He urged all stakeholders to actively partake collectively to ensure effective implementation, with sustainability of the programme, coordination, transparency and accountability from both public and private health sector.”

He further said that the 64th National Council on Health (NCH) approved the collaboration of NEMSAS with partner agencies and sub-national governments, as a Private and Public Sector driven initiative, to utilise existing Private Public medical assets, as the mechanism for achieving effective national emergency medical service Provision.

Blessing Egbo


Nwokike Brendan

for: Head (Media & Public Relations Unit)

15th February, 2022

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has envisioned that when the Bill for the Law establishing the National Blood Service Commission (NBSC) is passed, then it would ensure that all who are resident in Nigeria will have access to safe blood and blood products when needed, and in an equitable manner.  He has also advocated that delivering on this vision would rely on more robust quality management systems, robust regulatory frameworks, appropriate quality policies and processes, seamlessly institutionalized in coordinating blood establishments across the country, and a well-motivated, organized and committed staff.

Dr. Ehanire who was represented by his Senior Technical Assistant, Dr. Chris Isokpunwu, made these declarations on Tuesday, 15th December, 2020 while delivering a keynote address at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS) Stakeholders Meeting and launching of Ten-Year Strategic Plan, 2021 – 2030 of the Service held at the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja.

The Honourable Minister also disclosed the responsibility of his Ministry at ensuring that Nigerians have access to safe, high quality blood and blood products as a matter of priority, given the prevalent unavailability of safe blood and blood products to address the country’s needs to manage the high burden of maternal and child deaths, sickle cell disease, cancer, trauma from road traffic accidents, conflict and insurgency, blood for routine surgical interventions and component production.

Dr. Ehanire also cautioned against improper handling, usage, coordination and regulation of blood.  He disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Health’s report of 2018 revealed that up to 18% of newly acquired HIV infections in Nigeria are due to unsafe blood transfusions.  He said transfusion transmissible infections include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.

The Honourable Minister of Health also disclosed his endorsement of the “One Million Safe Blood Units Initiative (OMBUI)”, an initiative of the NBTS to improve, make available enough safe blood units for transfusion and for the establishment of the “National Strategic Safe Blood Reserve” that can be swiftly and effectively mobilized during emergencies to ensure Nigeria’s population survival, health protection and wellness.  He said that the reserves will be warehoused in the six NBTS zonal centres of Kaduna, Maiduguri, Ibadan, Benin, Owerri and Jos.  He further discloses that other warehouses for ease of distribution will include Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja.

Dr. Ehanire further charged the NBTS on the “long overdue” blood component production and blood-related medicinal products in line with the Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP).  The Honourable Minister anchored this charge to NBTS on “a strong institutional capacity” to ensure effective regulation of the quality and safety of these blood products.”  The Minister also looked in the direction of “significant financial returns” generated for Government through the production and sale of a suitable range of therapeutic blood products, plasma and plasma-derivative medicinal products (PDMPs) for local, regional and international market” and the “job opportunities for a considerable proportion of the unemployed”, “additional income” that could “reduce pressures on the national budget.”

On the 10-Year Strategic Plan of the NBTS, Dr. Ehanire  said it will ensure a good quality, safe and sustainable blood supply with 100% Voluntary Non-remunerated Blood Donation (VNRBD), a robust partnership and stakeholders coordination especially that the plan is with cost implications of N42.3 Billion/USD112 Million.  He therefore called on partners to key into the areas that may interest them.

Earlier, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who was represented at the event by his Technical Assistant, Dr. Nneka Orji as well as the Permanent Secretary, Health, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulahi who was also represented by the Senior Technical Assistant to the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Abubakar Adanu-Ismael; all of who expressed solidarity with the NBTS as it conducts the Stakeholders Meeting and the launch of its 10-Years Strategic Plan.

As well, Partners such as the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA); Achieving the Nigeria Initiative; and the World Health Organization all expressed solidarity with the NBTS at the occasion.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & P.R., FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health has pledged to support the Institute of Public Analysts of Nigeria (IPAN) to ensure that their goals of better nationwide healthcare services are realized.

Dr. Mamora made this pledge of support in his office when members of IPAN paid him a courtesy visit on the 14th of December, 2020.  The visitors disclosed that they came to commend the Health Ministry’s remarkable response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has benefited all Nigerians and to also seek the intervention of the Honourable Minister in respect of some challenges facing the Institute.
The challenges as read out by the Chairman of the Governing Council include:

Facilitating the inclusion of IPAN in the Governing Council of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCGC); Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON); National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC); and other agencies where testing is a requirement for certification and quality assessment;

The Chairman also seeks the recognition of the seal of quality of the Institute on Certificate of Analysis issued by IPAN’s registered laboratories.  This, he said confers authenticity on the certificates and prevent quackery.  He further said that “this could be done by directing all agencies and parastatals of the Ministry to recognize the seal without further delay;

The IPAN Chairman further wants bailout fund to the laboratories as part of Government’s support to Nigerians.  He disclosed that the cost of chemicals, consumables and equipment have placed so much pressure on independent laboratory owners and deserves Government’s intervention;

The Chairman further said that “It is also the intention of IPAN to establish training and research laboratories in each of the geo-political zones to support Public health and assurance of food safety in Nigeria among, others.

In response, the Honourable Minister said: “You know that we are all here to assist you in carrying out your own assignment as provided by the law of the land.  Be rest assured that we would look at the requests and do the needful within the ambit of what is available.”  He highlighted some of the key interest areas as contained in their request:

On Bail-out fund, the Minister of State drew the attention to the twin occurrence of COVID-19 pandemic and ENDSARS protest which have compounded issues in the nation.  Those notwithstanding, the Minister promised to see what can be done about the request. Dr. Mamora also urged IPAN to work in harmony with other agencies in FMOH towards attainment of its goals.  

Regarding the Institute’s desire to establish training and research laboratories in each geo-political zone to support public health and assurance of food safety, he acknowledged the importance of food safety and called on the group to work on the initiative and come up with the cost.
The Honourable Minister further assured the delegation that his office will look into the file with which they purchased a land to build their organization’s secretariat and do all within his power to get the dispute on that land, resolved.

Earlier in his address, the chairman of the IPAN governing council, Dr. Oluwafemi  Oyediran seized the opportunity of the visit to felicitate with the Honourable Minister of State on his appointment.  He also commended the efforts of Dr. Mamora together with the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire at combating the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Dr. Oluwafemi stated that the Institute was established by IPAN Act CAP. I 16 LFN 2004 (Formerly Decree No.100 of 1992) to examine, register public analysts and analytical laboratories practitioners and regulate their practice under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health; elaborating that a registered member of the institute, who by virtue of his/her knowledge, training, skills, competence and integrity is authorized by law to analyze consumer and health–related products such as: food, drug, medical devices, cosmetics, water, chemicals, chemically and biologically – based consumer products, etc. and issue certificates regarding their composition, quality, safety and efficacy.

Those present at the courtesy visit include the officials of the Federal Ministry of Health who were with the Honourable Minister of State as well as Board members of IPAN including Dr. Oluwafemi Oyediran, Aliyu A. Angara, Christian U. Egbo, and Dr. Daluri J.M Adam.

By Kasie-Agu Constance (SIO)
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director of Media & P.R., FMOH.

While briefing the press to commemorate the 2020 Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has said “UHC may not seem an easy target to attain, considering the dynamics of our health system, but it is actually quite achievable.”  To Dr. Ehanire, if all stakeholders can agree to collaborate in “one unified health system and advance away from the present fragmented state in which various stakeholders work in silos with separate visions”, then UHC where no one is left behind is achievable in Nigeria,

The Honourable Minister of Health said there are unintended consequences where parallel structures functioning within the health system, with inefficiencies and duplication of efforts.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire’s revelation about the status of Nigeria vis-à-vis Universal Health Coverage priorities of President Muhammade Buhari’s Next Level Agenda came to fore Saturday, 12th of December, 2020 wherein he disclosed that “Most of Nigeria’s Health Sector policies and Strategies are directed at making Universal Health Coverage a reality.  While a lot of noteworthy milestones have been attained in our journey towards UHC, much work still lies ahead of us, as we approach the 2030 SDG finish line.”

Apart from Pressmen, Health Partners that were present at the briefing include, National Bureau of Statistics, World Health Organization (WHO), Results for Development (R4D), Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), IPAS Nigeria (For Health, Access, Rights), Legislative Advocacy Initiative for Sustainable Development Goals (LISDEL), Nigerian Association of Physiotherapists and most prominently, Channels Television.

The health partners expressed goodwill messages and commitments while they also congratulated the Honourable Minister of Health on commemorating this year’s 2020 Universal Health Coverage especially with the way the commemoration was also done with a walk which took off from Eagle Square featuring the Dr. Osagie Ehanire along with some of his Directors, some Heads of Agencies and Partners.

The Honourable Minister of Health said further that the need to protect everyone from financial hardship at the point of accessing health services is the major focus of the 2020 UHC Day.  He added that the theme of the 2020 commemoration which is Health for All: Protect Everyone “reemphasizes the importance of of ensuring that no one is left behind as we expand our healthcare towards Universal coverage with health insurance.”

Dr. Ehanire itemized that “deliberate and concerted investments in the health system are required from both Government and private sector actors.”  He said while the Government has over the years increased investment in the health sector especially through the National Health Act and the Basic HealthCare Provision Fund, Government’s capacity in sustaining this, the Minister said is limited by prevailing fiscal constraints and revenue.  It was at this point that Dr. Osagie Ehanire appealed to the private sector and development partners to increase investments in the health sector.

The Health Minister also listed his initiative in support of UHC to include scaling up Primary Health Care Development Agency; National Health Insurance Scheme; National Centre for Disease Control; Family Health benchmarks; and introducing the National Emergency Medical Services and Ambulance System, the latter he said will provide the missing link in Nigeria’s Health System and reduce not less than 50% of the maternal and child mortality in the country.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director of Media & P.R., FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has inaugurated a 20-Member strong Committee chaired by the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi to fine-tune modalities for the establishment of the National Institute of Traditional Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) in Nigeria to be supervised by the University of Benin.

The inauguration took place at the 6th Floor Conference Room of the Federal Ministry of Health with all the 20-Member Committee physically in attendance and solidarity presence of the High Commissioner of India in Nigeria and his Deputy; the Chairman and House of Representatives’ Committee on Health.

Apart from the Committee chairman, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, the members of the Committee include Professors MacDonald Idu and Ehijie Enato who represent the University of Benin on the Committee; Representative of Federal Ministry of Education; Representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC); Professor Ernest Ugo (CAM); General (Dr) Ali Muhammad-Biu (CAM); Professor Lawal Bichi (TMP); Dr. Chigozie Nwachukwu Nwogu (TMP); and Professor Alphonsus Ekwerike (CAM).

Others include Dr. Sylvis Binder (Integrative Medicine); Abubakar Muhammed Alhaji (TMP); Representative of the Department of Hospital Services of Federal Ministry of Health; Representative of the Department of Health Planning, Research & Statistics; Representative of the Department of Food and Drug Services; Representative of the Legal Services Unit; Representative of the Traditional Institute: The Ooni of Ife; Dr. Bunmi Omoseyindemi; Representative of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN); and the Director of Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) of the Federal Ministry of Health as the Secretary.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire revealed at the inauguration event that the onset of COVID-19 drew national attention more than it ever did for Nigerians and the health authorities to think of developing home-grown solution to health challenges.  “Certainly, there was no solution to CIVID-19; everyone was groping in the dark...”  “A lot of other alternatives were offered to us from international and local inventors which we shipped to our Research Institutions with may still be under analysis.”

The Honourable Minister revealed the fact that Traditional Medicine as being older than Orthodox Medicine, he said, “In fact, it is the father of Orthodox Medicine.”  He disclosed that Traditional Medicine was being “added to the full array of options available to mankind to solve problems of health, whether physical, emotional or mental.”  He lamented the neglect of Traditional Medicine, particularly in Nigeria where the practitioners had to be “operating from the closets.”  He disclosed that 80% of Nigerians start their treatment from Traditional Medicine or revert to the alternative where Orthodox Medicine seemed to have failed them.”

Dr. Ehanire expressed happiness that Traditional Medicine has found a partner in UniBen buttressing his submission with a traditional saying that “What you know is a drop; what we do not know is an ocean.”  He said it is in this regard that he welcomes the involvement of academics, those who know how to ask questions, research, look for the meanings inside things and properly document their findings.  The Minister therefore charged them to continue to beam searchlight into the potentials in Traditional Medicine.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who welcomed guests and stakeholders to the inauguration said that the Committee will have to find the way forward “following the closure of the then Federal College of Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) which failed the National Universities Commission (NUC)’s accreditation “for non-compliance with approved standards.”

Dr. Mamora also disclosed that the Federal Government’s White Paper on the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalization of FG’s Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies had also earlier recommended that FEDCAM be transferred to a University as a Department, hence the inauguration of Friday, 11th December, 2020, he said represents an important step in the implementation of the Government’s White Paper and also an important step in the annals of the Federal Ministry of Health as it strives to develop TCAM and health care to complement the orthodox system.

The Chairman of the inaugurated TCAM Institute in UniBen, Mr. Mashi Abdulaziz Abdulahi on behalf of the Committee members accepted to serve and not disappoint.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations, FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has identified the pain point why the meager resources allocated to the health sector could not translate to improved health outcomes and demonstrable value for money:  There is “a misalignment between planning and budgeting with a disconnect between those responsible for planning (Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics, DPRS) and those responsible for budgeting (Department of Finance and Accounts, DFA), and miscommunication with external stakeholders like the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) as well as the National Assembly (NASS), etc.”

This was revealed in the Honourable Minister’s keynote address delivered at a Breakfast Meeting held to conduct Peer Learning Sessions to disseminate lessons learnt and achievements on the Federal Ministry of Health’s Budget Process Reforms, held at Barcelona Hotel, Abuja, on Friday, 11th December, 2020.

Dr. Ehanire however revealed that there have been efforts to remedy the noticed gaps.  He said the steps taken include: refined processes for development of strategic budgets that are linked to the health sector’s priorities; regular capacity building and budget performance monitoring.
These reforms, he said commenced with the constitution of the Planning and Budget (P&B) Committee, a collaboration mechanism to address the disconnect between the DHPRS and DFA on budget matters, and to oversee the Planning Cells consisting of planning and budget desk officers across FMoH Departments, Agencies and Parastatals (DAPs) in the development of their respective Annual Operational Plans (AOPs) and Budgets.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire was represented at the Breakfast Meeting of Friday 11th December, 2020 by Mr. Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry.

The Honourable Minister further revealed that the Planning and Budget (P&B) Committee has since supported the Planning Cells to develop and submit timely and strategic health budgets through the institutionalization of a yearly Annual Operational Plan (AOP) and Mock Budget development exercise ahead of the issuance of the Call Circular by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning (FMFBNP) for preparation of the National Budget.  “To demonstrate value for money and reframe communications with the FMFBNP and National Assembly (NASS), the Committee developed an intermediate outcome budget performance monitoring approach that links financial inputs to the achievement of health outcomes”, the Minister surmised.

Dr. Ehanire concluded that “Without mincing words, the efforts so far put into the Budget Process Reforms have started yielding good results which manifested in the quick preparation and submission of our 2021 Annual Budget to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning for onward transmission to the NASS and eventual passage into law.  As you are all aware, the defense of the FMOH 2021 Fiscal Year Budget at NASS has been concluded and we are awaiting final approval.”

In restating the objective of the Breakfast Meeting, the Honourable Minister said it is to conduct peer learning session to further advocate, broaden and harmonize the perspectives of the different actors in the budget process of the Ministry. The specific objectives of the exercise he said, are to: disseminate achievements and share learning from the FMoH budget process reforms; and support participants to apply learning and findings to their respective budget process.

Earlier, while giving the opening address at the Breakfast Meeting, the Honourable Minister of State, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora who was represented at the occasion by his Special Technical Assistant, Dr. David Atunwo, mni remarked that “Budget and Planning are two key activities organisations must institutionalise to be able to achieve good results.”  

Dr. Mamora commended the collaboration between the two departments of Health Planning, Research and Statistics and Finance and Accounts as “a step in the right direction and already giving the desired results.”

In his own intervention, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Abdulaziz Mashi Abdulahi pointed out that the 2020 Shadow Budget exercise carried out by the Ministry is designed to achieve enhanced capacity strengthening and performance of the Planning Cell Officers on budgeting processes. He said further that the exercise was focused on having a better understanding of the key strategic planning documents relevant to the Nigerian health sector. “These documents include Medium Term Revenue Framework (MTRF), Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS), Federal Government Fiscal Strategic Paper (FSP), and Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP)/ Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).” He concluded his intervention by revealing that the exercise was “also to cover the general knowledge of annual operational planning, its development, elements and the key steps involved in the operational planning process leaning towards implementation of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP II).”

The Breakfast Meeting was attended by some Directors, a good number of Planning and Budgeting Staff of the Ministry supported by known partners of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations, FMOH.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has launched two publications which he described in the ‘Foreword’ to the publications as “veritable tool in the healthcare delivery system which forms the fulcrum for the treatment of various medical conditions prevalent in the country.” 

The publications are the ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Adults’ (7th Edition, 2020) and ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Children’ (1st Edition, 2020).  The launch of these publications took place on Friday, 11th December, 2020 at Rockview Hotel (Royale), Wuse II, Abuja.

The 7th Edition of the ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Adults’ was said to be “the outcome of several deliberations and consultations by various experts and stakeholders in the healthcare delivery system.”  

The Expert Therapeutic Groups of the National Drug Formulary (NDF)/Essential Drug List (EDL) Committee”, the Honourable Minister stated, “have meticulously evaluated the safety, efficacy, quality, as well as the cost effectiveness of new medicines incorporated into this seventh edition for the treatment of various clinical conditions.

Of the ‘Nigeria Essential Medicines List for Children’ (NEMLc, 1st Edition, 2020), Dr. Ehanire stated that the NDF/EDL developed the maiden edition of the list for Children in line with the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) which advocates for the need to pay special attention to the health of children and women as special populations.”   

The Honourable Minister of Health further said that the development of the essential list for children will ensure the appropriate therapeutic interventions to children as envisaged by the 2007 Model List of Essential Medicines for Children by WHO.  Dr. Ehanire deriving strength from the WHO submission wrote that the publication contains “list of safe medicines for children up to 12 years of age; the most cost-effective options for key health problems and are useable with the little additional health resources.”  

At the launch event for the publications, the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire was represented by Dr. Omobolanle Olowu, mni, the Director for Public Private Partnership/Diaspora Unit of Federal Ministry of Health.  The event was organized by the Food and Drug Services Department of the Ministry in collaboration with Development partners, many of who were represented at the launch event and they gave goodwill messages:

Prof. Ambrose Isah who is the immediate past Chairman of NDF/EDL Review Committee stated in his good will message said: “Thank you for coming up with the 7th National Essential Drug List and First for Children.”

Dr. Kazadi Mulombo, Walter the Head of Mission and Representative of the World Health Organization Nigeria who was represented said that “The first edition of the WHO Model Essential Medicines List was released in 1977 with 208 individual medicines. Essential medicines are those that satisfy the priority health care needs of the population. They are selected with due regard to disease prevalence and public health relevance, evidence of clinical efficacy and safety, and comparative costs and cost-effectiveness.”

Dr. Walter added that “The model is intended to guide the development of national and institutional essential medicine lists which reflects the national disease profile.” He commended and congratulated the Honorable Minister of Health and his team for sustaining this lofty idea and on the launch of the 7th edition of the Nigeria Essential Medicine List for Adults and the Maiden edition of the Nigeria Essential Medicine List for Children” and remarked that “The WHO Model Essential Medicine List is evolving from just being a list but to a more robust tool that provide technical guidance in the rational use of medicine. The latest edition, Dr. Walter said, includes the AWaRe Classification of Antibiotics to groups of Access, Watch and Reserves to emphasize the importance of their optimal uses and potential for antimicrobial resistance.” On behalf of the WHO, he said the UN Organ will be providing technical assistance to the country to ensure that the next edition of the Essential Medicine is better.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria Foundation (PSNF) on its own, stated that “Today’s event is indeed significant, as it brings to fore the aspiration of the FMoH especially the Department of Food & Drugs Services and indeed the government of Nigeria in strengthening the supply chain and providing quality medicines for Nigerians.”  The provision and availability of medicines, the Society said, “can only be guaranteed by the appropriate selection of medicines needed by the population as the government through its policies expands access to healthcare.”

The Society went further to say that “It is gratifying that attention was focused on the inclusion of innovative medicines like Depot MedroxyProgesterone Acetate Sub-Cutaneous (DMPA-SC) which encourages Self Care and gives women of child bearing age the power to make informed choices through a varied contraceptive mix. Furthermore, the development of the maiden edition of the NEMLc is a testament to the fact that the vulnerable, particularly children, are of top priority in the agenda of the government.”

PSN added that “As a formidable partner, the PSNF through the PACFaH and PAS projects has supported the Ministry and the department in numerous ways: Notable is the strengthening of the Treatment Guidelines from 2014 till date. We are confident that this cordial relationship will continue to wax stronger and beyond the present.”  

While heartily congratulating the FMoH especially the Department of Food & Drugs Services, Pharmaceutical Division on this notable event of the launch of the 7th edition of the NEML and maiden edition of the NEMLc, it said that “This launch has been a long time coming as painstaking effort, intellect based on evidence and time of the expert committee with support from various stakeholders including partners, were put into the review process which commenced in 2018” and expressed the “hope that this strategic policy document materializes into a living policy that will positively impact the lives of all health seeking Nigerians particularly those in the rural areas with limited access to quality medicines and services.”

Ogehi Onuoha representing MarieStopes, Nigeria wrote: "On behalf of the Country Director of Marie's Stopes International Organisation Nigeria, I congratulate the FMOH on this occasion of the launch of the 7th edition of the Adult EML and the Inaugural launch of the children EML.

Marie Stopes is a global partnership present in 37 countries. We work in the sexual and reproductive health space to facilitate access to life saving sexual and reproductive health services to women and all requiring it. We empower women and families to have children by choice and not chance. We do this through information / education, quality service delivery and enabling availability of high quality essential health products/commodities. We work collaboratively with governments at national and state levels to strengthen the health policy space.

Marie stopes works in all 36 states and the FCT, working collaboratively with the Federal and States ministries of Health to strengthen health systems and an enabling environment for universal access to sexual and reproductive health services.

We are happy to be a partner in the development of the edition and will work to ensure the effective and efficient use of the EML in our locations of operation. We will do this because we appreciate that the EML will provide the needed guidance for our healthcare professionals in the discharge of their duties.

Congratulations again to the Federal Ministry of Health.”

Download: Nigeria Essential Medicines List 2020, 7th Edition' And 'Nigeria Essential Medicines List For Children 2020, 1st Edition'.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & Public Relations.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health while on a scheduled official visit to the Health Officers Registration Board of Nigeria (HRORBN) in Area 11, Abuja, on Thursday, 10th December, 2020 has lauded the role played by the Health Records Officers in ensuring that the healthcare system relies on good data and information.

He described the role played by the Health Records Officers as “those working in the background whose role is the most important.”  He said the Health Records Officers work to generate information from data and the health care system “relies on the data for monitoring, for planning, for evaluation and for measurement of progress.”  

He went further to say that “in these days of COVID-19 pandemic, we always say we rely on science, we rely on evidence, and probably most important, we rely on data; And, you are the ones that supply the data; and if there is one problem or challenge we are having even as a country is because we don’t have a national data base; which is very critical, particularly for planning.”  The Honourable Minister revealed that he said what he said to buttress his position as to the importance of the work which the Health Records Officers do for the Health Sector in particular and that informs his decision to visit the Board before the year runs out.

Regarding the number of items on the shopping list submitted to him by the Board, Dr. Mamora said even though he is not going to promise that all will be provided, he will give attention to the demands of the Board critically and attend to them one by one.

The Honourable Minister of State gave his position on the proposed Bill for the Establishment of Electronics Health Records Board, which he said he did not hesitate to say that “there is nothing new the Bill is bringing to the table and therefore totally unnecessary.”  He disclosed that his position is that the existing Health Officers Registration Board of Nigeria (HRORBN) is enough and all that is needed is to enable the existing Board to do what it’s doing better.  He said he could see that the Board needs a better environment to work and he instantly promised to align forces with the Board to approach the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to approve the use one of the forfeited properties through the EFCC to the Board as its Headquarters.

On the quest of the HRORBN to revisit the Act which establishes it since it was actually established via Decree 39th of 1989 (CAP 166 LFN 1990) to accommodate modern trends of regulating health record practices in all its ramifications, Dr. Mamora opined that the Board may have to approach the issue through their representatives in the National Assembly.  He had earlier identified three main ways of amending existing legislation when there are gaps:
(I)     Making a new Law;
(II)    Amending Existing Law; or
(III)    Repealing Existing Law which is not working.

Dr. Mamora however charged the Board to note that the process of legislation is usually very slow.  He told them to know that with him they have a friend and an ally in those things which will make the HRORBN to work better.

Earlier the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Health Officers Registration Board of Nigeria (HRORBN), Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Mami while giving his welcome speech has reeled out the history, the mandate and the achievements of HRORBN which he said has Five (5) Zonal Offices in the Six Geo-political Zones of the Country – South West at Lagos; South East at Enugu; South South at Calabar; North-Central at Lokoja; and Northwest at Kaduna.  With these Offices, it has been focused on the quality and standard of Health Records and Information Management practices in the healthcare industry in Nigeria.

Alhaji Mami also disclosed that the Board adopted the National Health Plan 2014 and customized it to the context of the Board because of the realization that there is burden of institutional weakness of providing Health Information for the Health System.  In this, the Board saw inadequate, untimely, inaccurate and unreliable health information being used to assess the health status of the populace, thereby impacting negatively on the quality of healthcare delivery.

As well, the Registrar, supported by the Board Chairman identified a number of challenges facing HRORBN.  Additional to the issue of Office Accommodation constraints, HRORBN needs a review of the legislation which established the Board to reflect realities in Nigeria.  The other is a need to include Health Records Professionals in the Data Consultation Committee.

Those present at the visitation include the Officials of the Federal Ministry of Health who went with the Honourable Minister of State as well as the Board members and Management of the HRORBN including  Musa Muhammed Ose; Haruna Aminu Aliyu; Wada Aliyu; Okereke Nwani Esq; Hon Ibrahim Sokoto (Board Chairman; Babgan Mustapha; Jimnah Salamat Queen; Abaji Agnes; Abdumahue Saidu and Halima Ahmed Hanna.

Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & P.R., FMOH.

Following the global spike in COVID-19 and its resultant fatalities, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Nigeria has donated some burial items to the Government of Nigeria to facilitate the work of the National Burial Team.

The donation was a follow-up to the Training of Trainers (ToT) on the Management of the Death related to COVID-19 Pandemic and other highly viral hemorrhagic fevers, that was organized by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) in collaboration with the ICRC in July, this year, where the ICRC pledged to provide a donation of items to facilitate the work of the National Burial Team of the Department of Public Health of the Ministry.

The Permanent Secretary, FMoH, Mr. Abdullahi Mashi Abdullaziz in company of some officials of the Epidemiology Department, took delivery of the items on Wednesday, 9th December, 2020, at the Ministry’s Headquarters in Abuja.

The donated items which were handed over by Bruno Raymond and Damilola Fagbohun on behalf of the ICRC include: 100 pieces of Body Bags (Infectious Disease); 25 pieces of Plastic Goggles; 1000 pieces ofNitrile examination Gloves; 25 pieces of Gloves Protection, (Heavy Duty); 25 pairs of Boots (Heavy Duty); 1,500 pieces of Surgical, single use Mask; 100 pieces ofwaterproofprotectionGowns; 100 pieces  of Body Cards (Unique Code Number);100 pieces of Tie wraps; 100 piecesof Aprons and 150 pieces ofManagement of the Dead After Disasters Booklet.

While appreciating ICRC for their support and collaboration over time, Mr. Abdullaziz stated that the items came at the right time considering the current spike in COVID-19 within the country,adding that “the items would be needed in case management.”

The ICRC in an accompanying notification sent through Bruno Raymond stated its readiness to further collaborate and cooperate with the Federal Ministry of Health on all issues regarding the management of the dead.  It further stated that the ICRC Forensic Specialist for Nigeria Juan Manuel Guerrero Rodriguez as well as the Forensic Programme Assistant, Damilola Esther Fagbohun will be ready to give further assistance.

By Blessing Egbo
Signed: Olujimi Oyetomi, Director, Media & P.R., FMOH.

FMOH Agencies

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