The Federal Government has launched the National Health Promotion Policy which is meant to reposition the health sector in Nigeria.
The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the launching disclosed that the policy documents will provide guidance for the empowerment of individuals, families, households, groups and communities.
” It will provide appropriate information on helpful habits, steps and behaviours to maintain good health and reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases. It will also inform the citizen on the negative impact of certain diseases.”
According to the Minister, available evidence shows that conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to handle ill-health, determines the overall health outcomes.
“Health education in communities and settings such as schools, workplace and worship centers, present an opportunity to disseminate information on health and impart life skills that promote healthy and health seeking behaviors, which remain throughout life. “
Ehanire further noted that health seeking behaviour is still rampant in communities and feeds on poor health indices.
“This trend can be changed with the adoption of simple household health practices . More investment in health education is not just worthwhile, it is cost saving and supports socio-economic development. “
In addition, he said there are five important health promotion strategic policy documents.The policy documents include; National Health Promotion policy 2019, The National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion 2020- 2024, the Knowledge Management Guidelines for Health Promotion 2020- 2024, Counselling Flip chart on key household practices, and counselling Flipchart on Family planning/childbirth spacing.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Development, Pauline Tallen urged the Federal Government to make women champions of the National Health Promotion policy.
She called on Nigerian women to prioritize their health.
” I want all females in this country to take health issues seriously, women are very central to health policy, and should be informed when major decisions are taken in the health sector. Women usually suffer mostly from the impact of disease in the family. They take care of their husband and children”.
“Women are usually the most vulnerable in every area of life, so much attention should be given to them at all cost.The inclusion of women in health policy will go a long way, as they usually do not have the economic power to afford the out of pocket expenses from health care cost”.
The WHO Acting Country Representative, noted that the health agency will continue to support government to ensure that proper health care is put in place.He added that the launch of the Health Promotion policy is the beginning of new initiative in the country.
” Without no proper policy in place, there will be an implementation gap in the health care system. Am truly excited about the launch of the National Health Promotion policy and the dissemination of the strategic documents.”