Opening Remark By The Honourable Minister Of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire At The 2019 Verbal And Social Autopsy (Vasa) Study Steering Committee Meeting

Protocol:

Good morning to the distinguished members of the steering committee. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) study steering committee meeting.  

As we all know that improving Nigerians health status requires a concerted effort, I will like to commend the effort of the steering committee for their unrelenting commitment towards the success of the conduct of the 2019 VASA survey despite various challenges. Your technical support and sacrifice did not go unnoticed. As we are all aware, for the country to improve health indices, addressing the high under five mortality is of great importance to the country.

The conduct of Verbal and Social Autopsy (VASA) survey for under five deaths is one of the country efforts to address high under-five mortality by generating the primary causes of deaths using the standardized VASA tools. The information generated from the study would reveal the cause of death in our settings, where many of the deaths occur outside health facilities without medical certification. The information will also generate mortality statistics. Likewise, the social autopsy component of the survey facilitates "community self-diagnosis" and identification of modifiable social and cultural factors that are attributable to these deaths. Therefore, the study results have the potential not only for increasing awareness among community members, but also for promoting behavioural change at the individual and community level. In the light of this, Nigeria has made a giant stride for this is a landmark achievement and we are glad to discuss the findings today.

I specially commend National Population Commission (NPoPC) for the work done so far and commitment over the years to improve the health status of the populace through generation of quality health data. I wish to acknowledge your effort for bringing so many stakeholders together including academia to ensure inclusive process to get the work done. I am rest assured this survey findings would help the country to address issues that confront the effective utilization of the health system, and proffer appropriate responses for the identified issues.

I congratulate us once again for this landmark achievement. As a country, we will not relent to implement the global recommendations and support the process that would accelerate the efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

On this note, I wish all the participants successful deliberations.

Thanks you all.

FMOH Agencies

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