Lagos Marks World Health Day


Lagos State joined the rest of the world at the weekend to mark this year’s World Health Day with the theme, Combat Drug Resistance and the slogan, No Action Today, No Cure Tomorrow.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) had slated 7 April of every year as World Health Day to provide unique opportunities for communities across the world to come together on one day to focus attention on a global health threat and to promote actions that can improve our health.


The state government used to occasion to stress the need for pharmaceutical firms in the state to be responsible in their marketing of medicine, promoting proper use of medicine as well as the need to work with public and private partners to develop new tools to detect and treat diseases.


Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, urged patients and members of the public to adopt health-seeking habits in order to contain the menace of drug resistance and ensure the effectiveness of medicines for the future, just as he called on health practitioners to be disciplined in their prescription, sale and distribution of medicines.


“This year’s theme, Combat Drug Resistance, was selected for World Health Day in recognition of the effect drug resistance has on our collective health individually and globally and in reognition that it is a growing threat to achieving global health goals. Drug resistant infections can be spread from one person to another, exacerbate illness and increae deaths.


“Drug resistance can impose huge cost on individuals, health system and society and if left unaddressed, while it could leave us with little or no medicine to treat infection and effectively take us back to a pre-antibiotic era,” he said.


According to the commissioner, the goal of this year’s theme was to save lives and protect health by showing the value of medicine and what could be done to maintain the effectiveness of existing medicine and develop new ones as well as to stimulate more cooperation in communities across the nations for sustained action against drug resistance.


“Government’s objective with the choice of the theme is to engage other stakeholders to take action, to protect medicines and prevent drug resistance; to build commitment for effective policies and practice and their implementation to combat drug resistance; to increase understanding of what drives drug resistance and what can be done to prevent it and to urge government to take the lead in developing and implementing policies to prevent drug resistance and protect effective medicine,” he stated.


He noted that the state government, through its regulatory agencies such as the Health Facility and Accreditation Monitoring Agency (HEFAAMA), the Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drug and other health reforms, policies and programmes, had made numerous strides in sanitising healthcare delivery including the chaotic drug distribution network in the state.


“We are at a turning point in the way we treat infections and health medicines to ensure the supply of safe, efficacious and quality drugs to our citizenry. We will continue to embrace the benefits, challenges and consequence this can have for health. We can take action now to ensure that drug resistance is contained,” he added.


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