The public health affairs of one country are the concerns of all other countries – Health Minister

Dr. Osagie Ehanire
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, delivering a lecture. recently. at the National Institute of Security Studies, Usman Dam. FCT.

The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has stated that the Public Health affairs of one Country are the concerns of other countries, as such, the Public health of any nation becomes a component of a Global Health.

The Minister made this known while delivering a lecture on the topic: Globalization of Public Health:  Implications for National Security at the National Institute for Security Studies, Usuman Dam, Bwari Area Council, Federal Capital Territory, recently.

In his presentation, Dr. Ehanire said that a healthy, well-nourished population is the desire of every nation and a requisite for growth. The achievement and maintenance of sound population health is therefore a major concern of each government, however, since there are huge differences in the capacity of Nations to access resources to provide adequate medical services to their citizens, international collaboration is well developed among nations.

In this regards the Minister explained that the philosophy promotes social justice and puts equity, collective responsibility and benefits for all humans as its goals, irrespective of global economic circumstances or disparity in the distribution of wealth in the world.

Describing the Security Service and other armed forces as “People who fight to ensure the security of the citizens,” while the health sector “fights the invisible enemies” which are infections and diseases, Ehanire said many types of diseases originate within a country due to poor public health safeguard like lack of clean water, poor personal, domestic and food hygiene, low sanitation standards that can become endemic or spread to epidemic level.

Of greater concerns, the Minister noted are communicable diseases caused by pathogens that spread wildly and could be carried across borders by air circulation by disease vectors, but also by persons infected with the germs.

Ehanire regretted that with the increasing volume and ease of travel, especially by air for trade, international cooperation, forced population movement and displacement during conflicts and unrest, natural disasters, the possibility of carrying diseases beyond borders is high and becomes a matter of concern for national authorities, who must imagine and prepare for the possibility and the coat of these disease affecting their citizens.

Speaking also on Climate Change and National Security, the Minister observed that it is an emerging factor finding increasing relevance. He hinted those changes in world weather patterns and its effect on the environment that appears to affect not only the predictability of seasons but even the behavior of certain creatures including microbes.

In the light of things, the Minister informed that the Nigerian Government focuses on Public health interventions seeking all –encompassing solutions that relate to the social environmental and economic determinants of health and health infrastructure development that includes routine immunization, water supply and treatment, sanitation and hygiene.

He further said that the Health Ministry formulates policies and guidelines to focus extensively on health education for Disease Prevention, Health and Wellbeing Promotion, Nutrition, while working on clinical and rehabilitative components for the care of citizens. In this regards the Minister posited that initial investment would eliminate over 60% of the national disease burden and not only save huge sums in curative costs but immensely towards a healthier populace.

The Federal Ministry of Health conducts active surveillance at Nigeria land and Sea borders and airports, promotes information sharing with National Emergency Management Agency and has scaled up disease prevention and response mechanisms since establishment of Agencies such as National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Research centers across the country.

To this end, the Minister said that Ministry of Health collaborates with line Ministries, Departments and Agencies, especially Ministries of Water Resources, Environment, Women Affairs, Education , Mines and Steel Development, amongst others, on the national health security agenda.

Enefaa Bob-Manuel
Head Press and Public Relations