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Federal Government launches 5-year health plan

The Federal Government has launched a national One Health strategic plan to improve health security by integrating human, animal and environmental health management which will be implemented over a five-year period, 2019 – 2023.

The plan which was launched in Abuja on Wednesday by the Minister of State for Health, Olurunnimbe Mamora, outlines the country’s plan to strengthen the prevention, detection, and response to infectious diseases that originate from animals, affect humans, animals and the environment.

According to a statement from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Mamora said the strategic plan which was jointly developed by the Federal Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), and Environment as well as their agencies, will result in improved communication, evidence-based solutions, improved surveillance, decreased lag time in response to outbreaks, and overall an improved economy.

“Nigeria has developed a One Health strategic plan to meet its human, animal and environmental health challenges.  This approach drives innovations that are important to manage the outbreaks we experience and offers synergy across our various Ministries. We hope that the implementation of this plan in Nigeria can serve as a model for other African countries”, Mamora was quoted saying.

He noted that Nigeria is the first country in Africa to launch a One Health plan signed by the Ministers of Health Agriculture and Environment.

The minister, however, said it was important to recognise that there may be barriers to implementing the strategy,  but said it is the duty of the ministries to dedicate the required resources for Nigeria’s One Health strategy implementation.

The Director-General, NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, noted that the health of humans and animals was interlinked with the environment and the majority of infectious diseases that affect human health are originate from animals and occur at the human-animal-environment interface.

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