By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal government is to partner with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sensitize the public on measures aimed at tackling the menace of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Tuberculosis in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Monday when he hosted a high level Joint United Nations Programming Mission on NCDs and Tuberculosis led by the WHO Coordinator for NCDs Primary Prevention, Dr Jean-Marie Dangou, on a courtesy in his Office in Abuja.
The minister said the ministry is ready and willing to support WHO as part of its contribution to the quest for Universal HealthCoverage.
“We understood that you have come asking for our platforms to use to send out your messages and that is why you can see that all the relevant platforms that the country has are here today. Without being immodest, I think here you are speaking to the converted and we have practical experience.
‘Going by the statistics of deaths caused by NCDs andTuberculosis in the country, which cut across the young and active population, the ministry is more than willing to partner with WHO on the preventive measures against the diseases.’’
“What we need from you is the content. We have the platforms but we need the content. In other words, what message do you want to put out there in respect of the non-communicable diseases and tuberculosis.
“You have just told us here that we lose 18 people everyday to tuberculosis and that these people are the youngest and the most active, so we can understand really why this team needs our support and collaboration,” he added.
Earlier in his address, the leader of the delegation and WHO Coordinator, Dr. Dangou, told the minister that the team is in the country for high level advocacy, with a view to turning into concrete action the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Universal Health Coverage at the United Nations General Assembly.
“The objectives of this mission are to make high level advocacy on tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), following the commitment made by the President and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at the UN high level meetings held during the UN General Assembly in New York…with regard to eliminating tuberculosis and also addressing NCDs. So this mission will like to advocate for going from commitment to action,” he said.
Dr. Dangou while stressing the need to mobilize non-state actors in order to galvanize all stakeholders towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, he solicited the support of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in awareness creation on the NCDs.
Also present at the event were the heads of the ministry’s public information organs, including the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), News Agency of Nigeria and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).