Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, has pledged the commitment of the ministry to the implementation of Health Education Programmes to promote health-related activities in the country.
Ehanire made the pledged at the National Presentation and Dissemination of Revised National Health Promotion Policy (2019) and its Ancillary Strategy Policy Documents on Monday in Abuja.
He said the ministry acknowledged the benefits of scaling up Health Promotion activities in addressing the increasing burden of diseases, disability and premature deaths from preventable causes.
According to him, the ministry conducted an assessment in 2004, in collaboration with relevant partners, on the capacity of the health sector to implement health education programmes.
“The popular saying that ‘Prevention is better than Cure’, also implies that it is a cheaper and more cost-effective path to reducing illness, including diseases of public health threat.
“The African Region of the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified Health Promotion as one of the six strategic directions for addressing priority public health,’’ he said.
He explained that the ministry was making efforts to reposition and strengthen coordination and stewardship of Health Promotion Programmes at all governance levels.
Ehanire added that the ministry is strengthening coordination to improve community participation and empowerment; delivery of interventions; as well as evidence generation to guide further steps and achieve sustainable financing.
Meanwhile, in a video posted on the ministry’s official Facebook page on the official launch of the policy, Ehanire called on Nigerians to improve on their health behaviour by going for routine examination and do activities that will improve their wellbeing.
“I will like to see a Nigeria where there is an improvement in health-seeking behaviour; where people will be able to look after themselves.
“Where people will look after themselves, have routine examinations and be able to benefit from all the measures that the health system provides, especially with the introduction of Basic Health Care Provision Fund and Universal Health Coverage,’’ he said.
Also, Dr Salma Anas-Kolo, Director, Family Health, Federal Ministry of Health, said the first commitment being demonstrated was to have a policy on Health Promotion.
Anas-Kolo explained that the next step is the operationalisation of the policy, adding that a lot of efforts are on-going, while there is health promotion technical working group that developed the policy.
She said the Committee has developed the approach to be used to disseminate messages and to engage a critical mass of people, especially at all levels; including community mobilisers.
Mrs Ladidi Bako-Aiyegbusi, Head, Health Promotion Division at the ministry, said there was a repositioning of health programmes in the country.
“Right now, we have an advisory forum, called National Health Promotion Forum. The forum is working in collaboration with the state promotion officer.
“We have developed some materials together – social and behaviour change materials. These materials were also translated into five local languages,’’ she said. (NAN)