Nigeria To Undertake A Vulnerability And Adaptation Of Climate Change Impacts In The Health Sector

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Prof. Ali Pate, Nigeria's Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

Mediaage NG News – ABUJA, Nigeria

The Nigerian government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, with support from the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has embarked on a vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the impact of climate change on the health sector in Nigeria.

The assessment will subsequently lead to the development of a Health National Adaptation Plan for Nigeria (HNAP) as a fall out of the decision at the UN Climate Change conference (COP26) held in Glasgow, UK in November/December 2021.

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At a recent stakeholder meeting on the project, held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre, Abuja on 7 Mach 2023, and covered by Mediaage, representative of the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Akpan Isuen, who also stood for the Director of Public Health, said the issue of climate change is a responsibility for all in the country.

“It’s not only a crisis for health but, for the environment, food and other sectors we can think of, as far as Nigeria is concerned.

“When we think of climate change crisis, health adaptation becomes a challenge. We recovered from COVID 19, we are now faced with Lasser fever and other health crisis. We need to tackle this so that our society will be free from these crisis.

“A lot of carbon has been emitted into the air. If you go to the riverine areas in Rivers State, the carbon emission alone is something to worry about and has impacted negatively on health”, he said.

Representive of FCDO, Dr. Ebere Anya Chukwu, a Health Adviser said Nigeria made an ambitious commitment at COP 26 to build a resilient and sustainable low carbon system, recognising the critical importance of building a response to climate change into its health system development planning.

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“This health vulnerability assessment is the foundational first step to building a health system able to support the health development of Nigeria’s population in the face of an increasingly unpredictable climate”, he stated.

“The V and A baseline gives a critical information for Nigeria which can be used for an informed evidenced-based national health adaptation plan. It’s important that we take advantage of the leadership and enthusiasm across government departments and partners and make sure that the findings of this assessment and subsequent plan results in a funded and sustainable change, improving the lives of Nigerians today and in the future”, Dr. Anya added.

Sandra Onyeanusi from the National Council On Climate Change (NCCC) said climate change and health have come a long way and with a desire to build resilience in the health sector and reduce carbon footprints by knowing the need of the sector, how is climate change impacting the health of the communities? What can the government do to respond to these challenges? He asked.

Dr. Yerima Peter Tarfa, a consultant for the project, a retired Permanent Secretary coordinated the event. It also had in attendance Judith Onyeneke, Assistant Director, Climate Change and Environmental Health, Kayode Daniel, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ahmad Mohammed, from the Federal Ministry of Health, National Coordinator, Dr. Ebere Anya Chukwu, Health Adviser, FCDO and Ezeudo Uchenna, Federal Ministry of Environment, Department of Climate Change.

Others are Sandra Onyeanusi, National Council On Climate Change, Glory Onyegbule, Director, Applied Metrological Services, Nigerian Metrological Agency, Mrs. Oluchukwu, Assistant General Manager, Climate Services, Nigerian Metrological Agency, Aisha Abdulaziz Adamu, Director, Population Service Coordinating, Grace Ogunleye from National Mental Health Program, Federal Ministry of Health, representing National Coordinator and Margaret Mark Dachan, Climate Change and Environmental Health, Federal Ministry of Health.

It also had Rukayat Mohammed from the National Council On Climate Change and Amina Garba, Department of Public Health, Climate Change and Environmental Health Division Federal Ministry of Health.

Online participants include Dr. Ajayi, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Khadijat Abdullahi from the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Nutrition Department, amongst others.

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