FG Moves To Combat Infectious Diseases

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The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole last Monday launched a scheme, Alliance for Epidemic Preparedness and Response (A4EPR) aimed at getting the major stakeholders in the health sector to combat infectious diseases.
The launch which took place in Lagos was an initiative of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The PHN is an alliance with NCDC and a coalition of private sector which has in its fold:Dangote Group Plc., MTN Nigeria, Total Nigeria, Shell Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation.
The Tides’ source reports that the mission of the group is to seek a way forward in bringing intervention to the risk of infectious diseases and to draw attention to the need of innovative partnerships in health emergency.
The group seeks to introduce to the private sector and key stakeholders to the alliance of A4EPR and secure forward commitment and pledge of private sector towards the efforts of health security.
In his remarks, the Minister said that the country was lucky that the experience of Ebola in 2014 took place in Lagos and Rivers, where there was appreciable response.
“If not, there would have been a serious crisis in the country.
“The experience of Ebola and other diseases like Lassa fever is an eye opener for us to be ready for the next outbreak which may be imminent.
“We cannot sit and pray or wish that it wouldn’t happen. All we need to do is to get ready, because it is waiting to happen and we cannot prevent it.
“What we need do as a government and organised private sector is to sit in a forum like this and discuss the way forward in our emergency response units and how to fortify them,” he said.
Adewole said that government was seeking to release about N1 billion to address the needs of the preventive health care system, adding that the first tranche of the money would be released soon.
“Specifically, about N100 million will be released soon for it”, he said.