By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government through the Ministry of Information and Culture will partner the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sensitise the public on measures aimed at tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and tuberculosis.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, when he received a delegate lead by WHO Coordinator for NCDs Primary Prevention, Mr Jean-Marie Dangou, who led a high level Joint United Nations Programming Mission on NCDs and Tuberculosis in Abuja on Monday.
Mr Mohammed said the ministry is ready and willing to support WHO as part of its contribution to the quest for Universal Health Coverage.
“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,” he said.
The Minister also said that going by the statistics of deaths caused by NCDs and Tuberculosis in the country, especially to its young population, the ministry would be 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 every day 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 said.
Speaking earlier during the visit, the WHO Coordinator, Mr. Dangou, said the team was in the country for a high-level advocacy that will drive action to the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Universal Health Coverage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
“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, this mission will like to advocate for going from commitment to action,” he said.
While soliciting the support of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Dangou stressed the need to also mobilize non-state actors in order to galvanize all stakeholders towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
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