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U.S. consulate, minister call for collaboration in advancing arts in medicine

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[FILES] Osagie Ehanire

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has called for collaboration between government agencies, academic institutions, healthcare organisations, Civil Societies, and members of the community as well as non-governmental organisations in advancing arts in medicine in Nigeria to ensure healthcare development.

The Minister who spoke at the launch of Arts in Medicine projects held at Sickle Cell Foundation Idi-Araba, Lagos, was represented by Chief Medical Director (CMD)/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Yaba, Lagos, Dr. Oluwayemi Cecilia Ogun, added that facilitating national arts and health programmes would benefit one million Nigerians in the next 10 years directly and indirectly.

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Ehanire said man, no doubt, is endowed with the power of innovation and creativity. According to him, the renowned German American economist and professor at the Harvard Business School, Theodore Levith, once said that creativity is thinking up new things, innovation is doing new things.

He said: “Today, the arts in medicine project team has exhibited both creativity and innovation by organising the first-ever National Arts in Health conference in Nigeria.”

“I commend the organisers for this great feat and achievement and proud to say that the Federal Ministry of Health will continue to collaborate with the arts in the medicine project team in actualising its objectives.”

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He added: “All notable arts, which should not go unrecognised and in as much as this has been done, we are more than aware that more still needs to be done, in supporting and making sure that the good news of arts in health spreads across and seeps through every nook and cranny of our society, inspired by this event.

“The Federal Ministry of Health is pleased with the health promotions and wellbeing that arts in medicine project are bringing to Nigerians. We are proud to be associated with the present and future success that would be birthed through the National Arts in Health Conference in Nigeria.”

Deputy Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate in Nigeria, Jennifer Foltz, said the event was the first edition to be hosted in Nigeria. She, however, noted that the conference seeks to advocate the inclusion of the art into health care delivery.

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Foltz said: “Participant of this event involves civil society representatives, faith-based organisation, artist and art enthusiast, health care policymaker, medical professionals including doctors, nurses and trained caregivers.”

Commissioner of Health Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the government is committed to sponsor arts in health to ensure healthcare development in the state.

Abayomi said developing the state of art, health and facilities would help patients to recuperate using arts like music, poetry and artefacts.

The Founder/Executive Director of, Arts in Medicine project, Mr. Kunle Adewale, said the event would help in creating a policy where art becomes a culture in the healthcare system. He said the hope is that art in health will not just be a state or place of recovering but giving jobs opportunity to the staff working in the health space and the recovering patient. Adewale aims at millions of Nigerians benefiting from the arts either in the hospital or personal wellbeing.

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