The Federal Government has been called upon to speed up implementation of the provision of Reproductive Health Services for women and girls of reproductive age, especially at this time when COVID-19 has affected a number of health policies and programmes.
The National Coordinator of Africa Health Budget Network, Dr. Aminu Magashi made the call in Abuja during the Executive Lunch Meeting with international development partners and donors in nigeria, mobilizing support for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescents and the Elderly Health plus Nutrition, RMNCAEH+N, Recovery Plan during COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Magashi explained that it became necessary to update partners on developments regarding the action plan, where it stands, as well as, garner support for the implementation of the RMNCAEH+N action plan for better health outcomes in Nigeria.
“We agreed in this meeting that we are going to have a scorecard that will promote accountability and transparency, that will monitor progress and also review, and also have some clear recommendations for action.
“So after this meeting we agreed with the Federal Ministry of Health that we will develop the scorecard in collaboration with the NGOs to understand coordination, strengthening demand creation and also improving services like the family planning commitment that was launched two weeks ago by the minister. And also at the same time, we are looking at the issue of the role of the media and demand creation so that more women can access services.”
He further stated that international development partners at the meeting have agreed to development scorecards to promote accountability and transparency, and also provide actionable recommendations.
Quoting the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Magashi noted that about 56% of the 2021 operational plan has been achieved.
“From the perspective of the CSOs, we could clearly see at the national level that the coordination platform is doing well. But where the government needs to do more is in the implementation of the services that the RMNCAEH+N platform is set to achieve.
So we need to work closely with the 36 states of Nigeria through the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. And also don’t forget, we are in a pre-election year, there will be a lot of distractions; we need to also work with the National Assembly to strengthen the oversight function for the health sector.”
He emphasized the need for all stakeholders, international partners and the media to work closely with the government, towards achieving set goals and objectives of the RMNCAEH+N action plan.