The Federal Ministry of Health, the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria (EHCON) and the West African Postgraduate College of Environmental Health (WAPCEH) have set up a cross-cutting Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) task team to brainstorm on the roadmap, mandate and sustainable policy direction to overcome Nigeria’s public and environmental health challenges.
Speaking at the convergence meeting on Wednesday at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Health, the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Mahmuda Mamman, the Register of EHCON, Yakubu Mohammed and the Secretary General of WAPCEH, Dr. Rotimi Adeyemi, said the thrust of the meeting is predicated on the imperative of MDAs and stakeholders to collaborate to drive the country’s environment and public health forward.
The Minister acknowledged that his guests were in the ministry to seek, interact and to discuss areas of collaboration for the overall improvement of health delivery in the country.
Ehanire, said: “We have identified areas where we can work together and all of us agreed that the next thing is to set up a task team which has been done and we hope that the mandate will continue to progress, stressing that it will constantly be reviewed to monitor and evaluate its progress.
He identified the cross-cutting agencies as the Ministries of Environment, Health, Agriculture, and Water Resources, adding all these MDAs are working together for the management of environmental health SCADA.
In a remark, Dr. Adeyemi, while expressing concern over environmental health practice in the country, explained that there is need to wholly return the practice on the umbrella of the ministry of health, adding: “About environmental practice in Nigeria, we want it in this ministry and it is our hope that with this discussion the meeting will take the bull by the horn and ensure that environmental health is brought back to this ministry.
In his own remark, Dr. Yakubu Mohammed Baba, said it has become imperative to let Nigerians know that there is a new dawn in the sector as according to him, in the spirit of one health concept, the cross-cutting ministries will be synergising and working together for the safety of the Nigerian environment.
This according to him is for the management of public health in the country, explaining that part of the engagement here today (Wednesday) is for the evolution for spirit of integration and collaboration.
He assured that Nigerians will be witnessing new changes and happening even as he urged the ministry to take purposeful leadership to coordinate environmental health services in Nigeria.
On the buy-in of the private sector, he said: “The government entities have to agree to come together to create the conducive and an enabling environment for the private sector those cross-cutting MDAs have to agree and come up with a policy direction with the buying in of the private sector and so this discussion is the reason why EHCON is here.”