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SFH in in collaboration with Yobe State Government Unveils 2024 Health Sector Plan

by Kachalla Umar Gujiba, Abare Galadima, Bashir Adamu Bashir and Musa Ibrahim Biu

From September 10th to 17th, 2023, the Yobe State Government developed the 2024 Health Sector Annual Operations Plan at the Guda Abdullahi Hall, Tahir Hotel, Nassarawa GRA, Kano State. The event was attended by 109 participants from key SMoH Departments and Agencies and NGOs including YSPHCDA, YOSACA, HSQRA, YSCHMA, YODMA, HMB, SFH, CCGP, ACF, UNICEF, SCI, AHNi, HALG, AFENET, LAFIYA Program, Palladium Group, SOLINA, and CHECOD Africa.

The meeting was organised by the State Ministry of Health (SMoH) in collaboration with Society for Family Health (SFH) and the Lafiya Project Consortium. It was inaugurated by both the Permanent Secretary and the Honorable Commissioner of the State Ministry of Health, underscoring the importance of an integrated and realistic work plan for the health sector to enhance efficiency, collaboration, and improved health outcomes in the State. The purpose of the meeting was to revise the Yobe State Strategic Health Development Plan (YSSHDP) II and harmonise the State Health Sector 2024 Annual Operations Plan. This was achieved through a comprehensive review of the Yobe State Health Sector’s performance for the first and second quarters of FY23, developing a situational analysis to prioritise activities for the FY24 plan, creating operational plans for the 2024 health sector, estimating the cost of activities by pillar and priority areas, and capturing key SFH Projects and activities in the Yobe State AOP.
The review of the 2023 AOP performance revealed a completion rate of about 46%, which was considered sub-optimal. This prompted participants to reflect on high-impact activities with realistic budgets, timelines, and a commitment to collaborate with various stakeholders to achieve better results in the remaining quarters of 2023. Out of the 318 activities planned for the 2023 AOP, 106 have been implemented to date.

To facilitate the development of the 2024 plan, participants were divided into 13 groups, each focusing on one of the 15 key priority areas of the AOP Strategic Pillars: Leadership and Governance, Community Participation, Partnership for Health, RMNCAH, Communicable Diseases, Non-communicable Diseases, Emergency Medical Services, Public Health, Health Promotion, HRH, Health Infrastructure, Medicines, Vaccines, Technologies & Supplies, HIS, Research for Health, and Health Financing. These groups conducted a SWOT analysis, recorded their observations, and formulated action plans to guide the AOP development process.

Key challenges in AOP implementation identified included the absence of a consistent central database for State Partners to report activities, vertical programming by implementing partners, lack of a functional communication channel with Partners to validate activities, and unrealistic budgets submitted by MDAs. It was agreed that these challenges needed to be addressed for smoother future AOP implementation in the State.

In conclusion, the work activities of all MDAs and implementing partners in the health sector were consolidated according to the 15 priority areas of the AOP Strategic Pillars. Participants acknowledged the significance of having a unified health sector plan and discussed strategies to address funding gaps. The Yobe State Ministry of Health, MDAs, and Partners are committed to working collaboratively, leveraging available resources, and monitoring AOP performance to improve the health sector. The harmonised AOP is expected to enhance collaboration, reduce costs, and increase efficiency by avoiding duplication of efforts among MDAs, Partners and the State. It will also increase the visibility of SFH under the HeRON, GF Malaria and ICHSSA-3 projects in the State.