The National Health Promotion Policy, 2019 is meant to actualize President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, which is ‘to improve the health and wellbeing of Nigerians’ through promotion of healthy lifestyle’. This was disclosed by the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire during the launch, national presentation and dissemination of the National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Documents at Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja on Monday, 30th November, 2020.
The launch and presentation, the Minister stated “demonstrates that the Ministry of Health is not just concerned with treating illness”, but also putting policy in place for attaining and sustaining good health for the citizens, so that more people can enjoy good health and fewer people falling sick. “This landmark event to present, launch and disseminate the revised National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its ancillary Strategic Policy Documents, is timely and desirable, because it aims to actualize Federal Government's commitment to improving health and wellbeing of Nigerians, by highlighting options to making healthier lifestyle choices.”
Continuing, he said the Policy documents will provide guidance for the empowerment of individuals, families, households, groups and communities, with appropriate information on helpful habits, steps and behaviours to maintain good health and reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, but also inform on the negative impact of certain practices.”
Dr. Osagie disclosed that available evidence shows that conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and the systems in place to handle ill-health, determine 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”, the Minister surmised.
Dr. Osagie said that Health Promotion activities at national and sub-national levels are central to the Basic Minimum Package of Healthcare Services provided by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, coordinated by the Health Promotion Division of the Department of Family Health at the Federal Ministry of Health and supported by the National Health Promotion Forum, after the maiden National Health Promotion Policy was launched earlier in 2006. The Minister publicly presented five important Health Promotion Strategic Policydocuments and directed that a result oriented sub-national level launch and dissemination is to follow.
The Strategic Policy documents include:
‘National Health Promotion Policy (2019) and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Document ‘to contribute to achieving Nigeria's National Health Policy commitment to deliver preventive, promoting, curative, protective, restorative and rehabilitative and palliative healthcare to every citizen;
‘National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion 2020-2024’ which is the maiden 5-year National Strategic Plan for Health Promotion, 2020-2024 showcases Nigeria‘s commitment to bridging the gap between Policy and Implementation, now customized to addressing the context and peculiarities of health promotion;
‘Knowledge Management Guideline for Health Promotion 2020-2024’ which is a tool to guide the fundamental requirement to institutionalize Knowledge Management practices for health promotion defines the core elements of knowledge management namely Capture, Generation, Synthesis, Storage, Archiving, Retrieval and Sharing.
The other ancillary documents to the National Health Promotion Policy which were also launched at the occasion include:
‘Counselling Flip Chart on Key House Hold Practices ‘to empower individuals with right information, knowledge, and skills to improve health seeking behaviour by adopting simple practices that improve Child survival, Maternal, Adolescent and Elderly health, growth and development;
‘Counselling Flip Chart on Family Planning/Child Birth Spacing ‘which is meant to empower individuals with the appropriate information and knowledge to find outlets for safe and trusted family planning services and make decisions that increase family planning service uptake, thereby improving health and wellbeing of families.
Earlier in his intervention, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora while delivering the key statement at the launch event said that the National Presentation, Ministerial launch and Dissemination of the National Health Promotion Policy 2019 and its Ancillary Strategic Policy Documents is timely and “an honour for Nigeria and indeed the Ministry of Health to envision that its population is equipped with adequate and effective health information; to take timely action in disease prevention and increase control over their health.”
Dr. Mamora observed that globalization and other factors contribute to rise of threats to Nigeria’s healthcare system. These range from the reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescents, elderly as well as nutrition factors, consumption patterns of alcohol and tobacco. He also observed that as a result of the earlier observation, “disease patterns are changing with more people affected by cancers, diabetes, and hypertension. Mental health conditions, road traffic accidents, domestic violence, unsafe sex, and insufficient physical activity are also on the rise.”
The Honourable Minister of State identified other threats to the Nigerian populace as “insecurity, floods, poverty, unemployment, and infectious and Non-Communicable diseases”, all which need to be addressed, and are being addressed through the 2006 and now the 2019 Policy documents.
The Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Abdullahi Mashi Abdulaziz who was represented by the Director, Hospital Services in the Ministry, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, mni said “issues such as low levels of health literacy, poor sanitation and inadequate attention to key social determinants of health” needed to be addressed. He therefore said that “The revised National Health Promotion Policy 2019 is meant to empower the Nigerian populace to take timely actions in disease prevention, improving their health and wellbeing as well as taking measures that ensure a healthy society.”
Legislative commitments, goodwill messages, and collaborative remarks were delivered by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health; Chairman, House of Reps’ Committee on Health; ED NPHCDA (Represented); DG of NAFDAC (represented); DG of NCDC (represented); DG of NOA (resented); DG of Governors’ Forum (represented);Chairman of Health Commissioners’ Forum; President of NUJ; President NPAN (represented);UN Groups (WHO and UNICEF); Donors Group – USAID; Private Donors and Philanthropists – BMGF. Others include CAN representative who also the Sultan of Sokoto.
Nwokike Brendan; Blessing Egbo (Contributors)
Signed: OlujimiOyetomi, Director, Media. FMOH.