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U.S. Consulate, exchange alumnus advocate inclusion of arts in healthcare

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United States Consulate General has called for the inclusion of arts in healthcare delivery as a means to enhance holistic patient care delivery.

This was disclosed at the unveiling of “Arts and Medicine Innovation Hub”, established by Tender Arts Nigeria with the support of a public diplomacy grant of the U.S. Consulate General.  

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Speaking, U.S. Consulate Acting Public Affairs Officer Jennifer Foltz, noted that the innovation hub will provide opportunities for cultural exchange for art therapists, arts in health practitioners and mental health advocates in Nigeria and beyond. 

“The United States works closely with our Nigerian partners to strengthen human capital for inclusive growth, and part of that is by supporting programmes that lead to a healthier population. We are proud of Kunle Adewale, an alumnus of 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow, for giving back to his community and country through the establishment of this hub,” Foltz said.   
 
Also, delivering opening remarks at the maiden edition of the National Arts in Health Conference titled “The Arts, Health and You.”  Foltz said there is increasing evidence that the display of visual art, especially images of nature, and the use of other art forms like music, can have positive effects on health outcomes. 

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In his keynote remarks, Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Professor Akin Abayomi, thanked the U.S. Consulate General and Tender Arts Nigeria for partnering to bring together public health practitioners and professional artists to advocate the inclusion of arts in medicine.   
 
“The impact of arts in healthcare could be miraculous for both patients and medical providers. In Lagos State, we will be seeking the input of artists in the design of our new public healthcare facilities,” Professor Abayomi added.  
 
Founder, Tender Arts Nigeria, Adewale, said creative arts programmes could help patients work towards recovery in an effective and enjoyable way. He explained that Arts in Medicine, which is relatively new in Nigeria, would go a long way in enhancing public perception of hospitals as centers for nurturing and healing. 
 
“Integrating the arts into healthcare settings helps to cultivate a healing environment. Our Arts in Medicine Project has yielded notable results across local hospitals, including mental health institutions,” he said.
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