Kaduna State Government has commended the World Health Organization (WHO) for its significant contribution to Nigeria’s health sector, in commemoration of the organization’s 75th anniversary. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday in Kaduna.
The press briefing which was meant to shed light on the activities lined up to commemorate the WHO’s anniversary, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Amina Mohammed-Baloni, said the global health body’s commitment to “Health for All’ was based on its founding constitution of 1948, which enshrined the belief that all humans are equal and promoting wellbeing at all ages was essential.
“The goal to achieve health for all remained important today, as it was 75 years ago. For the WHO, this remains a pathway to achieving SDG 3, reinforced by 16 other SDGs to be attained by 2030,” she said.
“Nigeria is a Member State of the United Nations and the World Health Organization Charter, and the WHO has been at the forefront of championing public health transformative agenda for achieving Universal Health Coverage for all in Nigeria.’’
Dr. Mohammed-Baloni went on to list some of the WHO’s notable strides in keeping the Nigeria and especially Kaduna people safe and serving the vulnerable in the population. “On April 7, 1948, 55-member countries came together and founded the WHO with the mandate to promote health, keep the world safe and to serve the vulnerable so that everyone everywhere can attain the highest level of health and wellbeing,” she said.
“Nigeria was certified Guinea worm free by WHO in December 2013. Nigeria and the WHO AFRO region were certified wild polio-free in August 2020. In addition, the 33rd World Health Assembly adopted a resolution accepting the report of the global commission for certification of smallpox eradication, with Nigeria being a key part of the strategy,” she added.
The commissioner said in recent times, WHO and its partners supported Nigeria in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensured the country didn’t suffer economically while seeking medical services and aid.
“WHO supported the state in strengthening the health systems to better serve the needs of our people. We have benefitted from the achievements of WHO and its partners through improved routine immunization and accelerated COVID-19 vaccination. We have successfully reduced the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the state,” she added. Dr. Mohammed-Baloni also mentioned how instrumental the WHO has been in providing technical support for disease surveillance and its outbreak response activities.
“I want to congratulate the WHO on this 75th anniversary of active service to humanity and for supporting the entire health sector in Nigeria technically and financially. I look forward to our continued partnership in building a healthier and more prosperous Kaduna State,” said Dr. Mohammed-Baloni in appreciation to the WHO for its numerous contributions made to the health sector and wellbeing of Nigerians at large.
In his remarks, the Kano State Coordinator of WHO, Dr. Sunday Audu who was represented by Dr. Ummey Gregory a consultant with the WHO said the the 75th anniversary presents an opportunity to look back at the transformation in healthcare over the years and to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow. “The WHO looks forward to building a stronger global health body that delivers results and is enabled and empowered to play its leading role in global health. Let me assure you that the WHO will continue to support Nigeria to promote health, provide health, protect the health, power health and perform for health,” Dr. Ummey Gregory said.
The WHO’s 75th anniversary celebration in Kaduna State is a testament to the organization’s impact in the health sector in Nigeria. The State Government and other stakeholders should continue to leverage WHO’s technical and financial support to build a healthier and more prosperous state and country.