Health promotion

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There is growing evidence which shows that health promotion interventions make a positive contribution to the improvement of human health. Within the context of Primary Health Care (PHC), health promotion is critical to improving outcomes in the prevention and control of both chronic and communicable diseases, and in meeting the health-related Millennium Development Goals, particularly among poor and marginalized groups.

WHO applies health promotion techniques to health and related social systems and to a variety of risk factors, diseases and health issues. Carrying out health promotion in settings where people live, work, learn and play is a creative and effective way of improving health and quality of life. Health promotion has a crucial role to play in fostering healthy public policies and health-supportive environments, enhancing positive social conditions and personal skills, and promoting healthy lifestyles.

In accordance with World Health Assembly resolutions wha51-12 and WHA57 requesting that health promotion should be given top priority within WHO, and in line with the global conferences held in Ottawa (1986), Adelaide, Australia (1988), Sundsvall, Sweden (1991), Jakarta (1997) and Mexico City (2000), Nairobi (2009) health promotion needs to be strengthened in all Areas of Work to improve the health and quality of life of the people.

WHO in Nigeria

WHO has been supporting the country in strengthening the capacity and infrastructure for the planning and implementation of multisectoral health promotion policies and programmes. Health systems are being oriented towards health promotion and their capacities being built to promote health.

Advocacy and social mobilization for policy in support of health promotion are also being undertaken. Specifically, WHO has assisted the country in developing a National Policy and Plan of Action on Health Promotion and WHO maintains links with Department of Health Promotion and Education, University of Ibadan to support Competency Based Training in Health Promotion, for health educators in health promotion. State and Local Government health educators are also being trained in various aspects of their work.

WHO supports to Health Promotion in Nigeria includes participation in the Malaria Advocacy, Communications and Social Mobilization subcommittee of the National Malaria Control Programme which recently launched the National Strategic Framework and Implementation Programme for Malaria; Polio Eradication; partnering with the Federal ministry of health to commemorate International Health Days such as World Health Day, World AIDS Day, World diabetes day amongst others.

Way forward

The strategic direction for the 20011 – 2012 biennium for the WHO Country office in Nigeria will continue to increase partnership, engage in advocacy, and strengthen its alliance with the media. WHO will collaborate with the Government of Nigeria to respond to the need to address underlying determinants of health, to build capacity, and to promote intersectoral action and coordinated integrated approaches to health promotion.

During the period, focus would be on such areas as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (ATM), Schools Health Programme, and the prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases (including cancer and Road Traffic Injuries) through tobacco control and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

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