Communique from the Federal Ministry of Health 59th National Council on Health (NCH) Meeting



The 59th regular session of the National Council on Health (NO-I) Meeting was held at the International Conference Centre, almualaia, Abia State from the 23rd — 27th January, 2017. The National Council on Health as provided for in the National Health Act (2014) is the highest policy making body on matters relating to health in Nigeria. It comprises the State Commissioners for Health of the 36 States, the Secretary of Health & Human Services Secretariat FCT, Honourable Minister of State for Health and the Honourable Minister of Health who )5 the Chairman of the Council. The 59th National Council tan Health was chaired by the Honourable Mill inter of Health, Prof. Isaac e Adewole FAS, FSPSP, FRCOG, DSc (Hans). 

2. A total of 801 delegates participated from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Ministry of Health, State Ministries of Health and the Health & Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja.

Others in attendance were Honourable Members of the National Assembly, Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations drawn from WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID, World Bank, US-CDC, SFH, HERFON, MNCH2, FHI 360, Women for Health, HFG/ABT, Society for Telerriedicine, IHVN, CHAI, IPAS, JHPIEGO, ICT 4 Health, Population Council among others, as well as delegates from the Federal Character Commission, the Health Regulatory Bodies, Professional Associations, the Tri-Services of the Nigerian Military.

Also in attendance were the Medical Services of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Federal Road Safety Corps and other Para-Military Medical Corps. 


3. The 59th NCH was preceded by a two-day Technical Session under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary (PSH) of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs, BInta L A. Bello, The Technical Session between 23rd — 24th January, 2017, first received four technical presentations on the theme and sub-themes and further considered sixty memoranda (23 from the Honourable Minister of Health and 37 from the State Commissioners of Health and FCT Secretary of Health). A total of 52 memos were passed by the technical committee (24 for approval, 22 for noting and 6 for Council’s further deliberation), 6 were stepped down and 2 were withdrawn. 


4. The Council meeting commenced on the 26th of January, 2017 with an opening ceremony, Goodwill messages were given by WHO, USAID on behalf of the Development Partners Group (DPG) and HEREON. 

5. The Honourable Commissioner for Health Abia State, Dr. Chigozie John Ahukannah gave the welcome address. This was followed by an address by the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Da E. Osagie Ehanire MD, FWACS. The Chairman of Senate Committee on PHC representing the Senate Joint Committee on Health and Chairman of the House Committee Dr1 Health also representing the joint committee on Health, both made brief remarks 

6. The Keynote address titled “NATIONAL HEALTH POLICY: A TOOL FOR ACHIEVING UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE (UHC),. was delivered by the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole. He highlighted progress so far that was collectively achieved which included; Revitalization of Primary Healthcare Centres in Nigeria; Implementation of the National Health Act (NI-LAC) 2014; Development of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP II); Polio Eradication effort; the Might against TB; Health Sector Response to Humanitarian Crisis; Lassa Fever Outbreaks; Saving One Million Lives Initiative (SOML); Tile Rapid Results Initiative — A Pro-poor Healthcare initiative. He finally stated that “together more would be achieved”. 

7. The 59th National Council on Health was thereafter declared open by the Executive Governor Abia State, His Excellency, Dr. Victor Okezie Ikpeazu, Phi), 

8. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Binta A. Bello gave the Vote of Thanks. 

9. Council session commenced with the adoption of the agenda, introduction of members in Council and setting the procedure for the meeting by the Honourable Minister of Health.

10. A summary of all the presentations made at the technical session was done by Prof. Adesegun Fetus’. The Acting Director, Health Planning, Research & Statistics, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole presented the status of implementation of the 58th NCH resolutions. Council appreciated the presentations, recommendations and the feedback by participants at the Council session. 

11. Council noted the poor level of implementation of resolutions of previous Meetings and challenges being faced in implementing them, Council further urged all stakeholders to commit to implementing resolutions through quarterly monitoring of implementation to be coordinated by a Desk Officer in the Federal Ministry of Health with the first feedback expected on 26th April, 2017; 

12. Council agreed to create fora for regular interlace among Council members while the HMH should send the resolution of the 59th NCH meeting to all State Governors in order to improve the implementation of resolutions; 

13. The proceedings and the status of the implementation of the 58th NCH were adopted as amended by the Council, Members also noted that the level of implementation of the resolutions of the previous Councils were below average and called upon all Council members to ensure improved performance in implementing Council resolutions, going forward. This would lead to improved health outcomes for the population and increase the effectiveness and relevance of the National Council of Health. 


14. Following extensive deliberation or each of the 52 memoranda, Council approved 23 memoranda, noted 25 and stepped down 4. Resolutions following consideration of memoranda are as follows; 

i. A call to action for stopping the transmission of Poliovirus in Nigeria; 

ii. All States of the Federation and the FCT to replicate the e-Health Governance Structure at the State level to ensure necessary synergy in the implementation of ICT in our national health systems as well as the merging of e-Health with the existing functional NHM1S instead of establishing parallel structures; 

iii. The effective implementation of the National Policy Guidelines on Incentivising Healthcare Investments at all levels; 

iv. The adoption of the plan for the implementation of accelerated TB case finding and its operationalization and the “End TB Strategy” as the National strategy for the control of TB in Nigeria; 

v. States PHC Boards and Local Government Authorities should, as a matter of urgency, establish Local Government Health Authorities in accordance with the provisions of the National Health Act, 2014, the integrated PHC Reform Agenda and the New Management Guidelines developed by the NPHCDA and Partners for operationalizing PHCUOR at the States and LGA levels; 

vi, The commencement of discussions around the extended paid maternity leave to 24 weeks as a means of improving the health and welfare of the mother and child; 

vii. The mandatory submission of data by private healthcare providers as a prerequisite for the renewal of certificate of standards in conformity with the NHAct section 38 Sub section 1 and 2; 

viii. The earmarking of at least 0.5 to 1% of the monthly Federation allocation to states for financing the implementation of the HIV/AIDS suata in abie roadm a ps; 

ix. The nationwide replication of the lessons learnt from the implementation of the Health Sector Humanitarian Response Strategy in the North East to address all health humanitarian issues in the country. 

x. States and FCT should establish a 10 bedded ward for the clinical and programmatic management of drug resistant tuberculosis as well as provision of support for DR-TB patients placed on treatment in their respective states; 

xi. States should adopt and adapt the National Family Planning Communication Plan (FPCP), the new National Family Planning logo The Green Dot” and their roll out taking into consideration thelr local pecuilarities; 

xii. Establishment of breastfeeding support groups and other strategies to promote exclusive breastfeeding; 

xiii. Provision of Technical support by the Federal Ministry or Health to the National Virology Centre in Ebonyi State; 

xiv. Reactivation of the “Midwives Service Scheme” (MSS) and urging states to shoulder the responsibility of posting newly qualified midwives to rural areas as required by the programme at the end of which discharge certificates should be issued to them thereby fulfilling the pre-requisite for their registration with Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria; 

xv. The development and implementation of appropriate policies that will encourage production of drugs and other medical supplies in the country; 

xvi. Government should make budget provision for accredited hospitals in Nigeria for the enrolment of intern Nurses each year beginning In 2018;- 

xvii. The adoption and implementation of National Guidelines for the Management of Clubfoot in Nigeria using the Pcinseti method; 

xviil. The adoption of the use of the curriculum for the training of House Officers in Obstetrics & Gynaecology and its implementation in all secondary and tertiary health institutions to serve as one of the tools for the MDCN to appraise the suitability of institutions to provide Housernanship Training; 

xix. The adoption of State Social Health Insurance scheme by States as the most cost effective and sustainable option of providing their citizens access to quality healthcare and achieving their health system goals and commencement of processes aimed at setting up their Health Insurance agencies and implementing the policy. NelIS to provide Technical Assistance to States in this regards; 

XX. The adoption of Voluntary Contributory Social Health Insurance Programme (VCSHIP) as a national policy that will include Foreigners living in Nigeria (legal residents), foreign visitors to Nigeria and those with temporary residency permits;

XXI. Adoption and effective implementation of the guidelines for the use of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other options in the Nigerian Health sector; 

xxii. Federal Ministry of Health to assist the Delta State Ministry of Health in Its quest for Public Private Partnership through linkages with investors and provision of guidelines for implementation of the partnerships; 

xxiii. Adoption of Community Based Health Management Information System (CBH M IS): A solution to high Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Nigeria and to encourage States to operatic nalize it; 

xxiv. Council specifically noted the progress in the development of the second National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP II) and urged all stakeholders (Federal Ministry of Health, States & FCT, Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations) to buy-in to the process in order to ensure its finalisation on or before June, 2017 so that the 2018 Budget would be derived from it; 

xxv. Council also noted the memoranda on progress of various health initiatives reported by both the Federal Ministry of Health, the 36 States and FCT and commended all stakeholders for these efforts; 

15. Council noted that all the States of the Federation and FCT were represented. 

16. Council appreciated the support and hospitality extended to It by the Government and people of Abia State. 

17. Council further appreciated the role of Development Partners in health, the media and other stakeholders for their contribution towards the success of the meeting.

18. Council agreed that the 60th NCH will hold in Ogun State in September or October, 2017. 


19. The motion far the adoption of the communique was moved by Honourable Commissioner for Health, Niger State and seconded by Honourable Commissioner for Health, Yobe State. 

20. A motion for adjournment was moved by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Bauchi State and seconded by the Honourable Commissioner for Health, Delta State. 

 The 59th Session of the NCH was formally closed by the Chairman of Council following vote of thanks by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mrs. Binta L. A. Bello. 

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