Since the inception of the project in November 2016, a number of activities have been carried out to ensure an effective take-off, build rapport with key stakeholders and deepen understanding of the project objectives, the scope of work, expected results, and the responsibilities of the key stakeholders. Some of the activities were geared towards the direct achievement of the desired results and below is an outline of some of them:

 Meetings and Collaboration with BMGF and NGF

As part of efforts towards a build-up for the project take off, we held a planning meeting with the BMGF on 17 October 2016 where BMGF and NHED reviewed the project document, and discussed and clarified grey areas to pave way for the smooth program take off and implementation.

In addition, an introductory meeting with NGF Secretariat took place on the 1st December, 2016; the objectives of the project, its approach and the rules of engagement were discussed and agreed. We have subsequently had several meetings with BMGF and NGF. BMGF also organized workshops on program delivery; one of such workshops focused on BMGF Theory of influence.

NGF DG, Dr Okauro speaking during the introductory meeting

Picture from one of the engagement meetings with NGF- From the left Dr. Grace Onotu, Dr. Emmanuel Sokpo, Technical expert, Dr. Shehu Sule, Advocacy expert,  Dr. A B Okauru, DG, Nigeria Governors Forum,  Mr. Jibo M A. , Dr. Haruna Abdullahi

Strategic partnership with NPHCDA

We had a familiarization/engagement meeting with NPHCDA to introduce the project to the leadership of the NPHCDA in November 2016. The team has continued to build a harmonious relationship with the new Chief Executive of the NPHCDA who was appointed in January, 2017. NPHCDA and NHED has agreed on an integrated work plan on all activities related to PHCUOR in order to enhance effective collaboration.

NHED has been appointed as a member of the National steering committee on PHCUOR which is established by the NPHCDA coordinate and provide technical assistance for effective state level implementation of PHCUOR.  Using this platform, NHED has engaged continuously with the National Steering Committee Secretariat where we stimulated action for commencing regular meetings following a long gap in such meetings in order enhance coordinated action with the involvement of most development partners support PHCUOR initiative and the NHAct.  Several of such meetings have taken place and issues such as the agreement on key service delivery indicators to be linked to Score Card, development of an annual plan for integrate partner activities and inputs include a micro plan for carrying out data collection and analyse data to produce Score Card 4 have been discussed.

NHED is working closely with the Department of Planning Research and Statistics as well and Advocacy and Communication to produce PHCUOR advocacy materials for use at the NGF.   In taking this further, NHED would be hosting a one day retreat with key representatives from NGF, NPHCDA, and with other PHCUOR and communication experts to brainstorm and review relevant documents to develop evidence based advocacy tool kits which will be used to canvass for commitment to PHCUOR implementation from policymakers especially the Governors.

ED, NPHCDA Dr Faisal addressing the members of the steering committee

From the Left, Dr Faisal Shuaib, ED NPHCDA, Dr A.B Garec, Director, Planning research and statistics, NPHCDA, Dr Shehu Sule, Advocacy expert for the project and Dr Emmanuel Sokpo, Technical expert for the project.

Participation in key PHCUOR/PHC system Events

  • NHEAD team participated in the 2nd Annual Primary Health Care Lecture which was organized by NPHCDA as a platform to discuss health care issues in Nigeria especially as regards PHC system strengthening; the occasion was also an opportunity to publically recognize some stakeholders who have made positive contribution to its PHC development in Nigeria as well as to rub minds on ways of improving PHC financing in the country hence the theme of the Annual lecture was titled  “Sustainable Primary Health Care Financing in Nigeria”. PHC financing is a core PHCUOR issue that requires understanding and commitment of all to achieve sustainable PHC outcomes.
  • The Nigeria Governors’ forum (NGF) project funded as a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was launched on December 1, 2016 launched the. The grant is to primarily focus on domestic revenue challenges with the aim of strengthening public financing for social programmes which benefit the poor and also to boost the Primary Health Care in Nigeria.  The platform provided a good platform for NHED team to engage with the representatives of governors as well as the MGF secretariat and BMGF
  • The NHED project team participated in the launch of the Universal Health Coverage organized by the FMOH and flagged off by President Mohammadu Buhari. In attendance included NGF secretariat among other high profile dignitaries. It was a platform to draw public attention to federal government policy on nation-wide PHC service delivery strategy aimed at providing high quality basic PHC services to all communities in Nigeria to achieve Universal Health Coverage and in line with the National Health Act. The event also included the Presidential inauguration of the National Steering Committee (a member from NHED is on the committee) on the implementation of the National Health Act, a legal framework for the PHCUOR policy. This provided an opportunity for engagement to advocate for PHCUOR as part of the National Health Act.
  • NHED participated in the 59th National Council of Health which took place in Umuahia, South Eastern part of Nigeria and engaged directly with the commissioners of health and chief executives of States’ PHC Boards who are direct implementers of the PHCUOR policy at the state level.

Collaboration with other programs and organizations

NHED team participated at the National Assembly technical subcommittee on the Revitalization of PHC System in Nigeria. Members of the subcommittee include the Chairmen of committees on health in the two chambers of the National Assembly, civil society groups, development partners and representative of the FMOH.

R4D collaboration- the period also provided an opportunity to explore collaborative opportunities with other development partners among them included R4D, a health sector PFM project funded by BMGF. Richard Neil led the three member R4D team to meet with the NHED team. The purpose was to follow up on ongoing Skype conversations between the two organizations. The key outcomes from the meeting were:

  • Both parties gained greater understanding about each other’s project
  • Possible areas of collaboration were identified at Federal and state level
  • A way forward was agreed to strengthen collaboration between these two BMGF funded
NHED and R4D team