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Reps Health related C’ttees, WHO partner on medical improvement

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Reps Health related C’ttees, WHO partner on medical improvement

The five health related committees of the House of Representatives have resolved to collaborate  with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to improve heath and health institutions in the country.

The resolution was reached at meeting of the chairmen of the committees with the incoming Country Rep of WHO, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo on Wednesday in Abuja.

Earlier, Mulombo expresses pleasure to meet with the lawmakers as he assumed duty in Nigeria as the WHO representative.

He said “Nigeria is a big country and serving as a legislator in a country like this,  is a rare privilege”.

Mulombo said that as chairmen of Health committees, the lawmakers were further called to higher service to humanity.

“You are expected to use your functions of legislation, appropriation, representation and oversight to impact the health of Nigerians majority of whom are poor and vulnerable.

“I have heard of the tremendous support you are already providing to the health sector, including appropriation of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund and ongoing review of many health laws such as the National Health Insurance, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, National Cancer and National Blood Transfusion Bills.

“The WHO in Nigeria has prioritised actions that are aligned to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the National Health Act (NHAct 2014) and the 2nd National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSIIDP II) to contribute towards achievement of our global Triple Billion Goal.

“One key area of focus is catalyzing and mobilising political actors towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through policy dialogues and high-Ievel political engagements.

“My colleagues and I will be working closely with you to identify new areas of work and to deepen already existing collaboration with the WHO on Nigeria’s journey towards UHC,” he said.

Mulombo said that the WHO is open to further collaboration with the lawmakers in extending the good practice from the Legislative Network for UHC in Nigeria and to other African countries through WHO regional office.

According to him, as partners in the health sector, it will be useful to continue to co-create innovative ways to ensure that together we promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.

Responding, the Chairman, House Committee on Primary Health Care, Rep. Yusuf Tanko Sununu (APC-Kebbi), said that the house maintained a healthy relationship outgoing country representative, saying that similar thing will be extended Mulombo.

Sununu said that in 1948 when WHO was constituted, it had the mandate of ensuring that each and every individual attain the highest level of health.

According to the lawmaker, a lot of progress has been made in that regard but we are far from achieving that mandate.

“I want to also thank WHO for your effort in the fight against Covid-19.

“You have supported us in the overall fight towards the curtailment of the effect of Covid-19.

“However, we want to call on WHO to always remember that principles of ethics, especially now that we are moving towards both national and international clinical trials is to ensure that the principle of justice in medical researches is attained.

“By justice, it means all human beings are equal and the benefit of that research is translated to all so that there is no segment of the world that will be used as a scape goat in trying to achieve something.

“This is the only way we can see that WHO has been fair in this fight against Covid-19 and ensure that each individual reach his height,” he said

Sununu pledged to cooperate with the WHO and to work together in trying to ractify all conventions transmitted to committees to move this country forward.

“We are going to have a public hearing to look the primary health care system in Nigeria so that we can facilitate formulation of policies and to further unite the mandate of the National Programme on Immunisation and the National Primary Health Care to facilitate the legal framework for their operations.

“Nigeria is facing lot of non communicable diseases and cancer has become an issue and we need a data base to be able to address the issue of cancer especially now that resources is going down.

“So we must focus on prevention rather than cure,” he said.

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

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