Brain O’Neill, EU Head of Cooperation Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS visits Adamawa State from 5-6th May 2016

The visiting Team paid a courtesy call to the Executive Governor of the State on arrival by 12noon on Thursday 5th May 2016.


Brian O'Neill the Head of Cooperation EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS and his Team met with the Executive Governor on the 5th May 2016 on arrival to Adamawa State by 12non, accompanied by the HCOH. Brian said the EU is coming back to 3 Nigerian States including Adamawa State with an enhanced package, and especially for Adamawa, to consolidate on the gains of the current EU-UNICEF MNCH project.


The Team Leader in a later meeting with the HCOH in her office, attended by SPHCDA Member1 - Dr Martin Bimba who represented the Executive Chairman of SPHCDA - Dr Abdullahi Belel, the SMOH Deputy Perm Sec and Directors of the SMOH and ADPHCDA (including EU/PBF Desk officer-Dr Paul, Drs Attahiru, Fanen and Osuji and PBF consultants-Drs Mathias/Simon,) discussed results and challenges of the current project.

Brian reiterated that the new 5 year project (2016-2020) will cover Health, Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and Governance services in the States and additional assistance would be provided to LGAs affected by Insurgency.

The State Ministry of Health (anchored by Rx Mansur and Dr Pariya) informed the Visitors that the SSHDP had been reviewed, validated and awaiting launching. The challenges in the Ministry included Coordination, transparency, accountability, lack of capacity of staff and their frequent changing roles, humanitarian health sector operations, gaps between SMOH and SPHCDA on implementation of the EU MNCH project, lack of ARVs in the new PMTCT sites and NHIS for social protection limited to public institutions and on pilot in a few LGAs. The Ministry opted that on priory bases, issues on NHMIS, planning and implementation, finance and performance issues are tops.

The Visitors suggested that exploiting synergy with other Partners, demonstrable mechanism on transparency – e.g. using websites and available working system would attract support

The SPHCDA (anchored by Dr Bimba, Osuji and Paul) indicated that the MNCH project in the State has become a reference point, drive and catalyst in the reform of the health system in Nigeria. The group enumerated the achieved results in the health system especially at the PHC level demonstrating increased availability and utilization of MCH, HIV/AIDS and Nutrition services by the majority of the population. The establishment of the PSC, Technical forum and Partners forum at the State level and monthly LGA HF Management forum, monthly NHMIS meetings, quarterly All ES meetings and the WDC at the peripheral levels had enhanced coordination of interventions at this level. Engagement of the media in partnership with Social Technical Committee had yielded free airtime for the MNCH project which would fully be exploited in the remaining life of the project. The School of Nursing and midwifes and the College of Health technology are increasingly been co-opted to facilitate building of manpower for the health sector.

On social protection, UNICEF is engaging a Partner to design a pilot for the State to the replicated using lessons learnt.

Next Steps

  • There is need to strengthen the PSC and Partners forum at the State level to close gaps between SMOH and SPHCDA on implementation of the EU MNCH project.
  • SACA to be supported through NACA to provide ARVs in the new PMTCT sites established in the State.

Deputy Permanent Secretary of the SMOH gave the vote of Thanks.

Visit to the Warehouse of the SPHCDA


  • The high temperature level in the warehouse is not conducive to the drugs and materials on storage. There is need to provide double roofing to reduce the heat and provide better cross ventilation in the store. Air conditioners should be installed in the warehouse.
  • Visibility of the European Union on labels on drugs and materials provided by the EU support is very poor and need to be improved as the legal obligation between EU and UNICEF is not taken into account in this regard. Inscription of EU within the EU flag is suggested.
  • To discourage theft and sales of donated commodities and supplies from EU and UNICEF, inscription of ‘Not for Sale’ on these items was also suggested.
  • Dangote Group of companies has obtained licence to produce RUTF in the country and commences production by the end of this year-2016.
  • Individuals’ health data in the country should have an e-back up (Cloud based data) in cases of disasters and destructions witnessed in the wake of activities of Insurgency in the North East of Nigeria. Experiences of Ogun State should be a reference point.

Visit to Ajiya PHC


  • Space
  • Assessment of severely acute malnourished children does not include measurement of height of the children in recognition of the high prevalence Stunting in the country.
  • Sickle cell testing should be routine in management of SAM children as those with sickle cell disease should not be given iron containing medications.

Visit to Makohi IDP Camp


  • The current population of the camp though dynamic is 1,268.
  • Visiting doctor/nurses at least twice weekly is required in the camps to reduce frequency of referrals currently reported in the camp clinics.
  • IRC has discontinued support to referrals; to design alternate strategy due to abuse of the current operating mechanism.
  • The available ambulance in the camp should be made patient friendly. The patient space section is not conducive to moving sick clients.
  • The mobile Clinic Van should be put to a better use for efficiency; it is very expensive to convert the mobile clinic to a static one.

Visibility of the EU is not satisfactory and some camp personnel do not know about EU, what it stands for and what it is doing.