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Group urges Nigeria to support WHO pandemic agreement

by Haruna Gimba
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By Asmau Ahmad

The Nigeria Network of NGOs (NNNGO) has appealed to the Federal Government to support the proposed World Health Organisation (WHO) pandemic treaty.

The Executive Director of NNNGO, Mr Oluseyi Oyebisi, said in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos that the agreement would embed equity, cooperation, and human rights into pandemic preparedness and response.

According to him, NNNGO believes that the proposed pandemic treaty is a critical step toward ensuring that Nigeria and other members of the global community are better prepared for future pandemics.

“We, therefore, urge the Nigerian Government to support the treaty and work towards its adoption.

“By embedding equity, cooperation and human rights into pandemic preparedness and response, we can ensure that we build a more resilient and equitable world for all,” he said.

Mr Oyebisi said that a pandemic exposed deep inequalities in societies, noting that the impact had been severe on the vulnerable and marginalised populations.

“It is, therefore, essential that the pandemic treaty includes provisions to address these inequalities and ensure that everyone has access to essential healthcare and other services during a pandemic,” he said.

He said that cooperation was critical in pandemic preparedness and response.

Oyebisi said that no country could tackle a pandemic alone, adding that international collaboration was necessary to share knowledge, resources and expertise.

He urged that the pandemic treaty should include provisions that would promote international cooperation in pandemic response and preparedness.

According to him, human rights must be at the heart of pandemic preparedness and response.

“Governments must ensure that the response to a pandemic respect and protects human rights, including right to health, right to information and right to participate in decision-making,” he said.

Oyebisi said that the pandemic treaty must, therefore, include provisions that would promote and protect human rights during a pandemic.

The WHO member-states are negotiating a global accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The effort is to make the world safer from communicable diseases and ensure greater equity in global response to public health emergencies.

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