Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has reiterated the commitment of the State Government to champion the cause of ‘One Health’ approach to improve citizens’ health and strengthen mechanisms for prevention, detection and response to outbreaks.
Abayomi disclosed this at the weekend during a Stakeholders’ Symposium organised by the State Ministry of Health to commemorate 2019 ‘One Health Day’ at LCCI, Alausa, Ikeja, hinting that the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations and the Federal Government of Nigeria have shown commitment to support the Lagos State Government in adopting the One Health paradigm.
He explained that ‘One Health’ recognises the interconnection between people, animals, plants and their shared environment, saying that the concept emphasises human health as a factor of the environment.
“One Health recognises that the health of the people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. It is a collaborative, multi-sectoral, trans-disciplinary approach operating at the Local, State, National and Global levels with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes”, Abayomi said.
The Commissioner stated further that the concept is in line with the Health and Environment pillar of the T.H.M.E.S Agenda, positing that the sectors must unite to protect humans, animals and the ecosystem by addressing healthcare at the interface of human, animal and environmental health.
He revealed that the need to improve the health of Lagosians and protect the ecosystem necessitated the one health strategy, maintaining that collaborative effort between various MDAs including the Ministries of Agriculture, the Environment, Health, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, and Lagos State Wastewater Management Office, as well as relevant stakeholders, would go a long way to improve the health status of the people and engender a clean environment.
Answering questions on the significance of ‘One Health Day’, the Commissioner observed that the annual global celebration draws attention to the need for a one-health approach to address shared threats at the human-animal-environment interface.
While stating that the theme of Y2019 ‘One Health Day’ celebration in the State is “One Health For A Healthier Lagos”, Prof. Abayomi assured that the government will continue to build the capacity of health workers, engage the community and support activities and programmes necessary to bolster the health of the citizenry regardless of age, gender, religious, ethnic or political affiliation.
Earlier, in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Olusegun Ogboye affirmed that the State Government would continuously put in place proactive and strategic plans to improve the health of Lagosians and urged participants to join hands with the government to deliver on its mandate of ensuring quality health for all.
Presentations were also delivered by Professor S.I.B Cadmus on the concept of “One Health and the Public” and Professor Akin Osibogun on “What Is The Practitioner’s Interest In One Health” among others.