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Samson Omotayo, Media Officer.
July 26, 2022

Determined to sustain its present efforts at providing accessible, qualitative and sustainable health care delivery system, major stakeholders in the health sector of Ondo State are developing a strategic operational plan for Year 2023 that will further meet the health needs of the people of the state.

To this end, Ondo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Ajaka has said it is against this backdrop that the Year 2023 Annual Operational Plan (AOP) is being developed early enough in 2022 to inform the budget preparation for Year 2023.

Ajaka made the assertion on Monday in his keynote address at the opening ceremony of a Five-Day Workshop organised by the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics of the Ondo State Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF on the development of the Year 2023 Annual Operational Plan for the state's health sector.

The Commissioner affirmed that the preparation of the Year 2023 budget will undoubtedly leverage on the AOP document being developed.

The all-inclusive workshop holding at the Premier Holidays Resorts, Igbara-Oke has participants drawn from all the departments in the Ministry of Health as well as Parastatals and Departments in the state's health sector.

While describing the workshop as critical, worthwhile, timely and expedient, the Commissioner averred that the workshop was convened considering the fact that adequate implementation of annual operational plan ensures efficient deployment of resources.

Ajaka acknowledged the efforts of development partners, particularly UNICEF for funding the exercise annually charging them to take advantage of the workshop to further identify areas of technical and financial support for the state's health sector.

He equally appreciated the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN for prioritising the needs of the state's health sector, a development the Commissioner noted has strengthened the health indices of Ondo State.

Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Health, Pharmacist (Mrs.) Folukemi Aladenola said the exercise was designed to provide a road map for achieving strategic results and ensuring its linkage to government planning cycle and budget.

Aladenola averred that once the state's health sector gets its annual operational plan right, it is close to achieving its desired outcomes.

The Permanent Secretary commended the efforts of staff of the Department of Planning, Research and Statistics at ensuring that the exercise is held early enough in keeping with the time frame of UNICEF as well as enable it inform the budget for Year 2023.

Aladenola charged participants at the workshop to painstakingly review the 2022 AOP implementation and develop the 2023 AOP document while ensuring its implementation.

In his overview of the workshop objectives, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Ondo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Uche Odionyenma stated that the overall objective of the workshop is to facilitate the application of the National Strategic Health Development Plan II AOP guidelines and tools for the development of the state's health sector Annual Operational Plans (AOP) for Year 2023..

Odionyenma averred that at the end of the five-day workshop, participants should have defined priorities and targets to be achieved by the AOP.

In his goodwill message, the Consultant and Director, Planning, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Angus Ikpe assured Ondo State's health sector of the support of the Federal Ministry of Health adding that the exercise is coming up at the right time.

Ikpe expressed optimism that the positive impacts of the workshop will be felt in Ondo State.

Also in his goodwill message, a representative from UNICEF commended the qualitative planning of the workshop saying Ondo State is breaking new grounds and that the UNICEF is happy about it.