WHO raises alarm as monkeypox spreads to Italy, Sweden

By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA–THE World Health Organisation, WHO, yesterday enjoined stakeholders in the Nigerian health sector to expedite action towards enthronement of resilient and sustainable health system in the country.

The global health body which spoke through its representative in Nigeria,Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo,at the opening ceremony of the 63rd Regular National Council on Health,in Abuja,noted that enthronement of resilient and sustainable health system will lead to improved health outcomes and Universal Health Coverage,UHC.

“I will conclude by calling on all stakeholders in Nigeria, to accelerate effort towards “Building a Resilient and Sustainable Health System for Improved Health Outcomes and Universal Health Coverage”, Mulombo said at the event which had stakeholders drawn from across the 36 states of the federal and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

He expressed happiness that the event “builds on the deliberations of the last Special National Council on Health which focused on applying lessons from COVID-19 in building resilient health systems towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.”

He said:” Looking at the Sub-themes of this National Council on Health, deliberate effort has been made to reflect key thematic areas across the six pillars of health systems including primary healthcare, climate change, strengthening local manufacture of vaccines and biologicals, big data and digital health, health insurance, and building essential partnerships. 

“Let me at this point congratulate the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire on his purposeful leadership of the health sector in Nigeria including the successful hosting of another National Council on Health. I must also congratulate the Honourable Commissioners of Health and the FCT Health Secretary on their huge effort made at the sub-national level each day to ensure achievement of results towards UHC and health security despite obvious challenges. “

Dr Mulombo noted that,”At the 150th Session of the WHO Executive Board on 24 January 2022, the Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, presented five priority result areas which formed key rationale for member states to extend the 13th General Program of Work (GPW13) up to the year 2025 during the 75th World Health Assembly. “

According to him,”These priorities include supporting countries to make an urgent paradigm shift towards promoting health and well-being and preventing disease by addressing its root causes;  have a radical reorientation of health systems towards primary health care, as the foundation of universal health coverage; urgently strengthen the systems and tools for epidemic and pandemic preparedness and response at all levels, underpinned by strong governance and financing to ignite and sustain those efforts, connected and coordinated globally by WHO;harness the power of science, research
and innovation, data and digital technologies as critical enablers of the other priorities; and urgently strengthen WHO as the leading and directing authority on global health, at the center of the global health architecture. “

He said it was “heart-warming to note that the theme and sub-themes of this National Council on Health reflect the above WHO priorities in the extended GPW13, and the Transformation Agenda of the African Region. “

He spoke further:”Accordingly, the WHO as a member state organization, will depend on the strategic guidance of the health sector plan, which will be enriched by the outcome of this this National Council on Health, to translate these into the Nigeria Country Cooperation Strategy (CCS), even as we advance effort towards 2024-2025 program budget. 

“Towards the mandate of promoting health, keeping the World safe and serving vulnerable in Nigeria, the WHO has enjoyed the excellent cooperation of the government at the Federal, 36 States and FCT. We have also received overwhelming support and resources from donors, other developing partners, Civil Society Organizations, the academia, private sector, and communities for which we are most grateful. “

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