Nigeria Statement delivered by Health Minister Prof. Isaac Adewole at the 70th World Health Assembly

I bring you greetings and good tidings from the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2. I congratulate you, Madam President, and other officials for your well-deserved election into office to steer the proceedings of this 70th session of the World Health Assembly. I also wish to appreciate the World Health Organization (WHO) and the exemplary leadership by the outgoing Director — General, Dr. Margaret Chan, for sustained efforts directed at improving global public health and in addressing global health challenges posed by epidemic prone diseases. We hope your successor will build on your worthy legacy. We also applaud the dynamic and hardworking WHO Afro Regional Director for standing by us and for responding promptly to the Ebola outbreak in DRC.

3. In our effort to provide good and qualitative health, Nigeria has adopted the 2016 National Health Policy for the Country. The new policy, aligned with existing and emerging global and local agenda, is expected to provide the right enabling and supporting policy environment for attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through the implementation of National Health Act which has commenced.

4. Nigeria eradicated guinea-worm disease and successfully controlled the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. One of the key lessons from all these experiences necessitated our resolve to embark on building and sustaining a resilient health system that is driven by a robust primary healthcare system.

5. While we were on the verge of being certified Polio Free Country by WHO, we recorded four new wild polio cases in Borno State in areas that were inaccessible to health interventions due to insurgency.The government of Nigeria immediately declared the polio outbreak a national public health emergency. In response to the outbreak, we had carried out massive outbreak response in 18 States and FCT so far and the results have been promising.

6. In curtailing the spread of WPV1 across our borders, there has been a robust international outbreak response and enhanced surveillance activities which include high level coordination with countries of the Lake Chad Region, implementation of high quality rounds and vaccination of high risk populations during in-between rounds activities and re-activation of RI services in newly liberated areas through innovative collaboration with the Military to gain access to fragile secured territories. Nigeria has not reported any new case since August 21st 2016.

7. On behalf the Federal Government of Nigeria, I sincerely appreciate the efforts and contributions of all stakeholders including WHO, Development Partner Agencies, Traditional and Religious leaders, the media and CSOs. And I want to assure the global community that there will be no complacency. We will sustain the current momentum for as long as it takes to be certified polio free and beyond.

8. President Muhammadu Buhari, in keeping to our promise and determination to revitalize at least one PHC per one political ward, being one of the cardinal programmes of the present Administration, flagged-off the Programme in January, 2017 by commissioning the newly renovated and equipped Kuchigoro Primary Healthcare Centre as a Model Primary Health Care Centre. That has indeed demonstrated government’s commitment at the highest level to place health as a top priority by ensuring that quality basic healthcare services are delivered to majority of the populace irrespective of their location in the country. We are focusing within available funds on the people living in the rural areas and the vulnerable population in our society such as women, children under 5 years of age and the elderly.

9. To achieve this important objective of providing quality healthcare services to all Nigerians, the National Health Act specifies that all Nigerians shall be entitled to a Basic Minimum Package of Health Services. The “Basic Minimum Package” is a set of preventive, protective, promotive, curative and rehabilitative health services or interventions as a nationwide standard.

10. In providing effective and efficient healthcare services, due cognizance has been paid to Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) with the establishment of AMR National Surveillance Coordinating body, and a Steering Committee. Nigeria will be conducting a multi-sectoral nation -wide survey on AMR. Moreover, a multi-sectoral national action plan has been developed to support the distribution, access and appropriate use of antimicrobials while the Essential Medicines List and standard treatment guidelines have been reviewed to promote the rational use of antimicrobials. We have also started on the 90–90–90 approach to the management of HIV/AIDS and increased case detection of TB.We have declared 2017 as the Year of accelerated Tb case finding.

11. We have developed a robust humanitarian response in the North East following a comprehensive assessment of the situation. We are grateful to our friends, International Organizations and Development Partners for their support.

12. In conclusion, Madam President, the Nigerian Health Sector is poised to building better resilient health system for sustainable development through UHC.

12. I thank you.