Nigeria To Implement International Health Regulation Recommendations
The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole says Nigeria will implement the recommendations of the Joint External Evaluation conducted in the country .
The Minister who stated this at the closing ceremony of the Joint External Evaluation of Nigeria’s International Health Regulations in Abuja, reiterated that the country was better prepared for health emergencies and was on track in fashioning out better response mechanisms.
“I am proud that we have been able to go through this process to ensure Nigeria will not be left behind. I am confident that we will get it right despite the work to be done in strengthening our capacity to prevent, detect and respond to emergencies,” the minister said.
” This is a situation where we must take charge of our destiny. God has given us the capacity to think to conduct this type of exercise, the rest is us and o want to assure you that I will not fail you “. He said.
The minister who said that Nigeria would quickly move on to the next level of work in the regulations also acknowledges the fact that Nigeria is taking the lead in the peer review mechanism of the Health sector which would save more lives.
He noted that the evaluation pointed out some areas of challenge which Nigeria needed to work on.
On his part, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chinwe Ihekweazu, said that the evaluation was important as it would help Nigeria to take care of it’s citizen.
He said that Nigeria having signed up to the International Health Regulation in 2005 held the meeting to be up to date in health regulations.
” Following the Ebola breakout a couple of years ago, the world has come together and realise that we really have to hold ourselves accountable for how we are performing”.He said.
” All together we didn’t do very well. There are areas that we are very strong in and there are other areas that require improvement but that’s the essence of the process. It’s means that there are areas of strength. It’s not for us to praise ourselves but to really look critically at ourselves to see where we need to improve on.
“We have very strong field epidemiology training programme using the one health approach. We are almost the only country in Africa that doesn’t only train medics, we train veterinarians we train laboratory sciences in field epidemiology. So we are very strong in that area”. He noted.
He however said that Nigeria needs to improve on laboratory services and some of the legislative frameworks needed to be worked on.
.The Program Director, American Centre for Disease Control, Mr. Daniel Duvall,commended Nigeria for taking the lead in health evaluation.
On her part, the Director Surveillance at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Mrs. Olubumi Ojo, said Nigeria needed to improve on electronic reporting.
Similarly, a representative of the World Health Organisation, Mrs. Mary Stephens, said that such meetings would help countries prepare for emergencies.
“Emergencies will happen in Africa and even around the world but what we need is to be prepared so that we are not taken by surprise. To put our systems in place so that when this emergencies come we can detect early and initiate a quick response”. She advised.
The theme for the Joint External Evaluation of Nigeria’s International Health Regulation is ” Strengthening National and Global Health Security.
The outcome of this Joint External Evaluation, a voluntary, collaborative process to assess a country’s capacity under IHR, highlighted the need for Nigeria to make additional investments and apply concerted efforts to improve its performance in key areas.
The final report of the draft report of the JEE will be available for country review within two weeks and published in about a month. an action plan will also be agreed upon by all partners to ensure collaborations.