As countries converge in Geneva for the 69th World Health Assembly, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, has warned of the trans-boundary nature of diseases and infections.
Speaking at the conference, Chan said ‘’few threats to health are not local anymore’’, adding that good health is key to the attainment of any developmental efforts.
The WHO boss noted that for countries to attain developmental goals there is need to take health as a key factor.
She said health holds a prominent and central place that benefits the 2030 Development Agenda.
“In the final analysis, the ultimate objective of all developmental activities, whether concerning the design of urban environments or the provision of modern energy to rural areas is to sustain lives in good health,” Chan said.
She noted that the current global outbreak of diseases like Ebola, Zika and Yellow Fever has revealed a dramatic resurgence of new threats from emerging and reemerging infectious diseases which the world is not prepared to cope with.
In the wake of this new nature of transmission of diseases and infections, WHO’s director-general urged nations to adopt the Universal Health Coverage, UHC, which she described as the target that underpins all others.
“It is the ultimate expression of fairness that leaves no one behind. It also has the best chance of meeting people’s expectations for comprehensive care that does not drive them below poverty line.”
This underscores the need for nations to work together to address those health issues posing threats to global health in an interconnected world characterised by profound mobility of people and goods.
“In the face of this, I welcome current joint external evaluations that are looking at preparedness and response capacities in several countries. The evaluations need to continue with utmost urgency as a tool under WHO’s authority and coordination,” Chan said.
Also in a statement sent to Nigerian Pilot, the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, at the second plenary session on Monday, noted that in line with the current global direction, the country has articulated a ‘Change Agenda for Health’ geared towards achieving UHC through Primary Health Care, PHC.
This, the minister said will guarantee access to effective and qualitative healthcare by about 100 million Nigerians.
He emphasised that through the change agenda, the country has identified potentials in the health sector to reduce poverty, promote rapid socio-economic development and shared prosperity with its catalytic effect on individual productivity and that relevant processes to harness this are being articulated.”
He added that “Nigeria will ensure that accountability is maintained while creating strong institutions, some of which will be deployed to demonstrate our prioritisation of Non Commutable Diseases, NCDs, and Neglected Tropical Diseases, NTDs,” he said.
The minister assured that the country’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, remains unwavering and it will continue to work on the full attainment of Millenuim Development Goals, MDGs, by vigorously pursuing strategies that will improve maternal, new born and child health indices among others.

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