Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo, has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the take-off of the regional centre for disease control before the end of this year. He spoke yesterday while declaring open the 18th Assembly of Health Ministers at the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat in Abuja.
The centre which will be based in Abuja was established by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) in 2016.
Osinbajo said access to healthcare remained a significant problem in the region, adding that member states should do more, especially in the area of funding to fight communicable and emergency health challenges.
While commending the leadership of WAHO for living up to its noble objectives, he advised them to leverage on technology.
The chairman of the Assembly of Health Ministers and Health Minister of Togo, Mustafa Mijiyawa, said the assembly would adopt the “One Health’ Approach towards combating diseases and outbreak of epidemics in the region. Mijiyawa appealed to member states and partners to increase support for WAHO.
The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, said Nigeria would provide infrastructural support for the center and advised ministers to invest more in research to guarantee adequate and reliable data necessary for policy formulation on health issues in West Africa.
Director General of WAHO, Dr Xavier Crespin, said the 18th assembly would focus on deliberations and decisions on combating communicable and non-communicable diseases, hospital reform, use of evidence in health, policy formulation, and task shifting.