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AFRO-NETS> Nigeria Health Policy Forum

Nigeria Health Policy Forum

Dear All,

An unprecedented but fascinating scenario played out recently on the 
pages of a Nigerian national daily. This was the public dialogue be-
tween a sitting and former Federal Minister of Health. Notwithstand-
ing the bric-a-brac, my clear understanding of the core issue at 
stake in the dialogue centred on: 

* Setting and implementing policy priorities in health in Nigeria 

Thanks to a not too distant exposure to the free market of ideas, one 
of the parties (guess who?) expressed the strong view that public 
policies in health indeed should (a) be generated by and implemented 
with the full support of the public, and (b) serve the public purpose 
well. The other party held the traditional view that governmental 
public policy matters are the sole and unquestioning responsibility 
of a cohort of officials and their 'apparitiks' as part of the "Offi-
cial Secrets" process so to say.

I completely share the view of the party that seeks to put public 
health policy discussions and issues with respect to: agenda setting, 
implementation, monitoring, evaluation and feedback, in the public 

Consequently I believe that the significance of the public "Ministe-
rial Dialogue" should not be lost to all those who seek for a better 
health system in Nigeria. 

Members of the Nigerian and international civil society with stakes 
in the Nigerian health system should seize the opportunity created by 
the "Ministerial Dialogue" to initiate a forum - for the free discus-
sion and setting of appropriate people-centred and driven public 
policies for better health for all Nigerians. 

I have proposed the name - NIGERIA HEALTH POLICY FORUM and invite all 
interested parties to help shape the formation of the Forum. In con-
tributing ideas, please address such Forum formation issues as: (a) 
Charter, (b) Aims and Objectives, (c) Legal issues and Logistics of 
Formation, (d) Governance (e) Funding (f) Platform and modalities for 
action, (g) System/mechanisms for integrating all stakeholders in 
health, etc.

I would be pleased to coordinate actions towards the formation of the 
FORUM and therefore volunteer to make the administrative resources of 
the Centre for Health Policy and Strategic Studies in Lagos available 
for the intended purpose.

Please mail all contributions to:

A. Odutola
Centre for Health Policy and Strategic Studies 
34 Town Planning Way, Ilupeju
P.O. Box 7597, Ikeja, Lagos
Tel: +234-1-470-1255
Fax: +234-1-263-5285

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