WHO Regional Director for Africa Concludes Official Visit to Nigeria

Abuja/Brazzaville, 22 February 2013 – The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, has concluded a 3-day official visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The visit began on Wednesday 20 February, in the capital city of Abuja where Dr Sambo and his delegation met with the Minister of Health, Hon. (Prof.) C. O. Onyebuchi Chukwu and senior ministry officials. They had in depth discussions focussing on health priorities in the country including  polio eradication and routine immunization, maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases and the human resources crisis, among others. Professor Chukwu expressed the Government’s commitment to finish the work of getting rid of polio in Nigeria. The two parties discussed ways of further strengthening cooperation between WHO and the Government of Nigeria to improve people’s health.

Discussions were also held at the 9th Presidential Task Force meeting on Polio eradication led by His Excellency Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, Minister of State for Health. Dr. Pate stressed that in spite of the incidents in Kano and Borno States, where health workers were killed, the government is committed to interrupt polio transmission by the end of 2013 and protect health workers to perform their daily work. Dr. Sambo expressed the renewed commitment of polio eradication partners and  transmitted his condolences to the families that lost their loved ones and the people and Government of Nigeria. The Minister of State presented to the Regional Director the Initiative addressing the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 : 'Saving Million Lives by 2015'. The Regional Director reiterated WHO's full support to this well thought out approach to revitalizing the national health system using Primary Health care as the entry point.

During the visit, the Regional Director held working sessions with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) headed by Mr Dauda Toure, the Resident Coordinator. The discussed issues included the strengthening of the UN security system and the UN common premises. 

Dr Sambo also met with the WHO staff in Nigeria and commended their excellent work, despite the existing challenges. He also  emphasized the need for optimal performance to maintain WHO's leading  role in the health arena.

For more information, please contact:
Dr Rui Vaz, WHO Representative, Nigeria. Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Collins Boakye-Agyemang + 4724139420 E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it