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Health minister urges EU support for medical diplomacy in Africa


SUPERVISING Minister of Health, Dr Khaliru Alhassan, has urged the European Union (EU) to support medical diplomacy in Africa with concrete long term solutions to boost health delivery in the continent.

The call is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday by Mrs Ayo Adesugba, the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health.

The statement said the minister made the call in his address at the EU High-level International Conference on Ebola in Brussels, Belgium.

It quoted the minister as saying that the expected EU support would help to strengthen health infrastructure of nations whose systems had been affected adversely by the outbreak of Ebola.

According to the statement, the concept of medical diplomacy has emerged strongly in recent times due to frequent outbreaks of diseases with great pandemic potential.

The minister, it said, noted that as long as the Ebola Virus Disease was prevalent in any country, the entire world was at risk.

It said that the minister shared Nigeria’s experience in speedy containment of the disease and attributed the country’s success to strong government leadership, among other factors.

“Effective control measures put in place to interrupt transmission of the virus, collaboration among the various tiers of government and robust multi-sector cooperation were key to our success story.

“Early community engagement and aggressive public enlightenment also helped in containing Ebola in Nigeria,’’ the minister said.

The minister stressed that close collaboration with Worls Health Organisation (WHO), Centres for Disease Control (CDC) of the US, EU and China, respectively, Médecins Sans Frontières and other development partners, helped in containing Ebola in Nigeria.

The statement added that Nigeria was doing everything possible to prevent a resurgence of the virus, noting that a 41 million dollar-plan was being evolved for the nation’s ‘’post-containment preparedness, prevention and control’’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high-level conference was organized by EU for stock-taking on the fight against Ebola outbreak.

The forum coordinates further action for the total eradication of the disease and discusses the recovery process in countries most affected by the disease. (NAN)

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