The Delta Government on Wednesday inaugurated a Technical Working Group (TWG) for the State Strategic Health Development Plan (SSHDP).
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Nicholas Azinge, who inaugurated the committee members in Asaba, said their task was develop a SSHDP document toward laying solid foundation for the development of the health sector in the state.
Azinge, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Minnie Oseji, urged the TWG to take the assignment seriously as it had implications for proper funding of the state’s policies, programmes and projects.
He said the strategic health development plan must contain necessary mechanisms for verifying outcomes of government interventions and be able to influence government policies and decisions.
The commissioner urged the group to avail themselves of priorities of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration in the health sector and ensure they were given priority in the plan.
He pledged the ministry’s readiness to support the working group to facilitate its
work and sought the cooperation of other Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Earlier in an address, Dr Simeon Onakughotor, the Costing Consultant, Delta Strategic Health Development, gave an overview of the project and task before the TWG.
He said the Federal Ministry of Health was currently developing a new National Strategic Health Development Plan for 2017 to 2021, being the second in the series following the expiration of the initial 2010 to 2015 plan.
The consultant further explained that the plan has two main components: namely a component for each of the 36 States and the FCT to be known as the State/FCT Strategic Health Development Plan.
According to him, the second is the federal component to be known as the Federal Heath Development Plan.
He added that “on completion of the two components, they both will be merged to constitute a National – State Health Development Plan for the period between 2017 and 2021.”
In his contribution, Dr Tarry Asoka, the Planning Consultant, Delta State Strategic Health Development, said the plan was expected to be used as annual operational plan for the state.
He said the plan would inform the budget for the sector and the basis for which international donors would engage the state government.
Asoka advised the TWG to be specific and try to prioritise its plan while following the framework to cater for local councils in the state, especially those in the coastal
areas with distinct peculiarities.