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CSOs Develop Accountability Framework For Health Security In Nigeria

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Civil society organisations (CSOs) have forged an accountability framework to strengthen Nigeria’s health security preparedness and response to emergencies.

Initiated by a coalition of CSOs operating in the health sector, the endeavour, unveiled on Tuesday in Abuja, seeks to establish mechanisms ensuring transparency, accountability and effectiveness in managing health security resources and interventions.

Founder of the Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), Mrs. Chika Offor representing the coalition, stressed the urgent need for a robust accountability framework to address gaps in Nigeria’s health security architecture.

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

She outlined 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.

“The collaborating CSOs, representing diverse expertise and perspectives, include prominent health advocacy organisations, research institutions and community-based groups,” she added.

The coalition intends to engage with relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to align with existing health security policies and strategies.

A health economist and monitoring and evaluation specialist at the African Health Budget Network (AHBN), Mrs. 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,” Abdullahi stated. “By working together, we can enhance transparency, promote good governance, and ultimately safeguard the health of all Nigerians.”

Executive director of Gem-Hub Initiative, Mrs. Oyeyemi Pitan announced that the accountability framework for health security is 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,” Pitan affirmed.

Programme manager of the 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.

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

He emphasised, “The strength shown by people during COVID-19 should now be channeled 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.

The Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON), an NGO dedicated to health sector reforms, collaborates with VNDC, GHI, and AHBN to review existing accountability frameworks for health security and COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria.

The workshop aims to collate and review current accountability frameworks for COVID-19 and health security, enhancing participants’ capacity to manage health security finances and promote accountability in line with the NCDC 5-year Strategic Action Plan (2023-2027) across all NAPHS MDAs.




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