The Nigerian government on Monday launched the revised National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and four others to address increasing burden of diseases in the country.
The other strategic documents launched are: National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion 2020-2024, Knowledge Management Guideline for Health Promotion 2020-2024, Counselling Flip Chart on Key Household Practices and Counselling Flip Chart on Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, while speaking at the launch, said the policy is aimed at actualising government’s commitment towards improving the health and well-being of the citizenry.
“Ministry of Health is not only just concerned with treating illness but attaining and sustaining good citizen health so that more people enjoy good health and fewer people fall sick,” he said.
He noted that the policy will provide appropriate information on helpful habits, steps and behaviours to maintain good health.
He said these will help reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases in the country.
“It will also inform the citizen on the negative impact of certain diseases,” he said.
The minister said poor health-seeking behaviour is still rampant in communities and “feeds poor health indices”.
He said this can be changed with the adoption of simple household health practices.
“More investment in health education is not just worthwhile, it is cost-saving and supports socio-economic development,” he said.
Mr Ehanire said having a good health indices would further enhance socio-economic development in the country.
In her remarks, the minister of women affairs, Pauline Tallen, urged the federal government to prioritise women’s health.
She said women have limited access to healthcare and suffer most from the impact of diseases due to unfavourable cultural practices amongst other challenges.
“Women are usually the most vulnerable in every area of life. So much attention should be given to them at all cost,” she said. “The inclusion of women in health policy will go a long way as they usually do not have the economic power to afford the out of pocket expenses from health care cost.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Walter Mulombo, commended the government for its efforts in revitalising the primary healthcare centres.
He, however, warned that without having the proper policies in place, there would be an implementation gap in the healthcare system.
Also, the Chairman Senate Committee on Health, Ibrahim Oloriegbe, said the 9th National Assembly “was committed to supporting every proposed health-related bill that seeks to look at health promotion currently before the legislators.”
“As legislators, during our campaigns and interactions with all our electorates, we will be promoting health,” he said. “Legislators perform the functions of legislation, representation and oversight and we use all these processes to support health promotion.”
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