Hon. Minister of Health Lauds WHO Nigeria

The reappointed Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has applauded the World Health Organisation for its technical contribution towards uplifting the health standards of Nigerians especially at community levels.

The Minister who paid a courtesy visit recently to the WHO Nigeria at the United Nations House, Abuja said that Nigeria’s achievement in both national and international fora would not have been possible without the technical support of WHO Nigeria.

He explained that Nigeria has attained enviable position among the committee of nations such as the vice chairmanship of the WHO African Regional Committee, Vice-Executive President of the World Health Assembly and membership of the Executive Board of World Health Organisation. “These achievements are products of effective collaboration between WHO Nigeria and the government at all levels.”

Professor Chukwu reaffirmed his commitment towards ensuring eradication of guinea worm and interruption of wild polio virus come 2012. He added that guinea worm eradication is a priority of the present national government and as such several strategies have been put in place among which is collaboration with the ministry of water resources to tackle water and sanitation challenges in the six endemic LGAs.

The minister was optimistic that polio will be interrupted in Nigeria by 2012 adding that the renewed advocacy to the political and traditional leaders will yield expected result in no distant time.

In his response, the WHO Representative for Nigeria, Dr. David Okello appreciated the honourable minister for his courtesy visit describing it as unprecedented. Dr. Okello opined that the minister’s reappointment is a testimony of the President’s confidence in his ability to effectively pilot health matters in Nigeria for the betterment of all Nigerians.

On behalf of the WHO Regional Director, Dr. Okello delivered a congratulatory message to the minister on his reappointment.

Other issues discussed at the meeting include the upcoming Regional committee meeting scheduled to take place in Cote de’voire, August 2011, during which the DG will inaugurate African Federation of Public Health Associations. “There is need for Nigeria to present credentials of the country for the meeting early and include a representative of the National Association of Public Health Physician in the Minster’s entourage”, said Dr. Okello. Other issues discussed include the current challenges faced by WHO Nigeria in clearing anti-TB drugs from the ports authority, the Global Fund OIG report on Nigeria and the status of the National Health Bill which was passed by the national assembly recently.

(L-R) Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, Hon. Minister of Health, Prof. Chukwu and WHO Nigeria Representative, Dr. David Okello at the UN house, Abuja recently.

 

A cross section of dignitaries at the recent meeting between Hon. Minister of Health and WHO representative at the UN House, Abuja.