Saturday, May 18, 2024

CSOs unite to strengthen Nigeria’s preparedness for medical emergencies

“The recent global health crises have underscored the importance of proactive measures to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging health threats.’’

• April 17, 2024
NCDC
NCDC

Civil society organisations have united to create an accountability framework aimed at fortifying Nigeria’s health security preparedness and response to emergencies.

Founder of Vaccine Network for Disease Control, Chika Offor, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja at a workshop to collate and review current accountability frameworks for COVID-19 and health security.

The workshop also aims at enhancing participants’ capacity to manage health security finances and promote accountability in line with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control five-year Strategic Action Plan (2023-2027) across all National Action Plan for Health Security.  

Mrs Offor highlighted the urgent need for a robust accountability framework to address gaps in Nigeria’s health security architecture.

The initiative, spearheaded by a coalition of CSOs working in the health sector, according to her, seeks to establish mechanisms for ensuring transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in the management of health security resources and interventions.

“The recent global health crises have underscored the importance of proactive measures to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging health threats. By developing an accountability framework, we aim to strengthen the country’s ability to safeguard the health and well-being of its citizens,” she said.

She added that the framework would  include governance structures, resource allocation mechanisms, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and citizen engagement and feedback mechanisms, drawing upon international best practices adapted to the Nigerian context.

She noted, “The collaborating CSOs, representing diverse expertise and perspectives, include prominent health advocacy organisations, research institutions, and community-based groups. The coalition plans to engage with relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to align with existing health security policies and strategies.’’

Also speaking, a Health Economist and Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist at the African Health Budget Network, Maimuna Abdullahi, emphasised the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration in strengthening health security.

“The development of an accountability framework requires collective efforts from civil society, government, and other stakeholders,” Mrs Abdullahi said.

“By working together, we can enhance transparency, promote good governance, and ultimately safeguard the health of all Nigerians,” she said.

Also, Executive Director of Gem-Hub Initiative, Oyeyemi Pitan, announced that the accountability framework for health security was expected to be finalised in the coming months after extensive consultations and stakeholder engagements.

“Once established, it will serve as a vital tool for promoting accountability and driving continuous improvement in Nigeria’s health security preparedness and response efforts,” Mrs Pitan said.

Programme Manager, Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, Dr Opeyemi Adeosun, highlighted the collaboration’s aim to harmonise existing accountability frameworks and introduce additional indicators beyond financing to achieve better results in health security.

Mr Adeosun urged citizens to engage with the government, asking relevant questions to ensure accountability and effective governance.

He stated, “The strength shown by people during COVID-19 should now be channelled towards protecting ourselves and holding the government accountable. We must demonstrate our interest in government accountability to drive positive change.”

He also called on the government to prioritise health security to reduce mortality rates in the country.

(NAN)

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