WHO pledges continuous support for Nigeria

File photo of a female health official tries to drop a polio vaccine into the mouth of a child at Kaiama town, 16 May 2005 in Bayelsa State.
File photo of a female health official vaccinating a child

The World Health Organisation has assured Nigeria that it would continue supporting the nation in its fight against epidemic diseases and in emergency responses especially in the North-eastern part of the country.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, during a press briefing in Abuja on Saturday said the organisation is ready to partner with the country to rebuilding the health systems especially in the North-east devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Ms. Moeti who came on a two days official visit to Nigeria to assess the organisation’s humanitarian activities in the North-east reaffirmed the WHOs commitment to partner with Nigeria on matters of mutual interest regarding international health development in Africa and Nigeria in particular, especially on the current response to polio eradication and monkeypox outbreak.

Ms. Moeti who had flagged off an integrated polio and malaria campaign earlier in the day in Borno commended the government for its early alert of the WHO on cholera and suspected monkeypox cases in the country.

She said the early alert of cholera disease at the IDP camps helped in containing the disease and the number of deaths from reaching epidemic status

“We have been supporting malaria policies as it has remained on of the child killer disease and we are ready to partner with the government in support with other international health agencies to rebuild the hospitals in the North-east as we are campaigning for Universal Health Care,” she said.

In his remark, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said WHO has been of tremendous help to the country especially in humanitarian activities and containing the spread of diseases.

He said her visit is not only expected to strengthen support of WHO to Nigeria in her fight against humanitarian emergencies but also to advocate the effective implementation of the “Transformation Agenda” of the Regional Director.

Mr. Adewole said the organisation is not only focusing on the North-east but all other parts of Nigeria especially in epidemic control.

“Though the aim of her visit is the North-east, the organisation however will be working across the country. She is also here to assess our policies on Universal Health Care and how far we have been in achieving this,” he said.

Mr. Adewole also assured Nigerians that the country would soon be declared polio free as there has been no sighting of a new case since the last one that was reported at the north-east part of the county in 2016.

This set back the country from getting a polio free certificate from the health Organization.

Recent samples of the suspected monkeypox disease were taken to a WHO laboratory in Dakar, Senegal for confirmation and with the results still being expected.

Mr. Adewole said Nigeria will leverage on the visit to deepen the country’s collaboration with WHO.


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