Tuesday, 27 September 2016

NOUN, health providers partner against communicable diseases

Worried by the spread of contagious diseases, the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) and the Association of Public Health Teaching, Research and Services have gone into partnership at a three-day conference to research new methods of control in Africa.

At the 2nd International Health Conference yesterday in Abuja, with the theme: “Trending Issues in Public Health Services Delivery,” speakers lamented the spread of communicable diseases from one country to the other.

Deputy Chairman, House of Representatives committee on Health, Hon. Muhammad Usman, said “so many communicable diseases have killed millions of people in Africa and Nigeria inclusive.”

He said whereas some African countries, like Botswana and Zambia, were appropriating over 15 per cent yearly budget for health, Nigeria had only a paltry 4.13 per cent allocation.

“This is one of the major challenges in the health sector, but the National Assembly has taken the issue seriously and in the last four weeks, we have been holding review conferences on what could be done,” he said.

Usman, however, assured, that the 2017 budget would address some of the major challenges, noting that it would also harp on the implementation of the 2014 National Health Act policy framework.

A former Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Prof. John Idoko, said in his keynote address that over 75 per cent of contactable diseases had association with animals.

He stressed that there was the need for the establishment of public health laboratory for effective and quick diagnosing of diseases, procurement of vaccines, highly sophisticated and sensitive equipment, increase awareness and effective communication and development of sound and implementable health policy in the country.

The Dean, NOUN’s Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Jane Agbu, said the conference would discuss several issues in the health sector with a view to recommending action plans.

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