Nigeria joined the globe to commemorate the 2023 World Health Day, which also doubles as the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO).
On April 7, 1948, 55 member countries came together and founded the WHO, with the mandate to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable – so that everyone, everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.
Addressing journalists and stakeholders at a Press briefing on 06 April 2023 to celebrate the milestone anniversary, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said WHO has been a significant force in keeping the world safe and serving the vulnerable – so everyone everywhere can attain the highest level of health and well-being.
Dr Ehanire expressed appreciation to the WHO for the numerous contributions to the health sector and the well-being of Nigerians at large. “I want to congratulate the WHO on this 75th anniversary of active service to humanity and thank the WHO for supporting the entire health sector in Nigeria technically and financially these years.
I join the WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus to call on Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to respect the provisions in the WHO health workforce support and safeguard list, 2023 and at the same time call on the global leaders, donors, and multilateral leaders to allocate long-term sustainable funding and implement policies that protect and support health workers everywhere,” he added.
The theme of the 2023 World Health Day was: “Health for All – Strengthening PHC to Build Resilient Systems,” while WHO observed its 75th anniversary under the theme: “75 Years of improving public health” and the theme of World Health Workers Week was: “Investing in the Health Work Force”
For the realization of its mandate, the WHO Representative (WR) in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said at the media event that the WHO is presently working with 194 member States across six regions and on the ground, in more than 150 offices.
Dr Mulombo explained that the WHO is utilizing the 75th anniversary to look back at the transformation in healthcare over the years and an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today — and tomorrow.
“The right to health is a basic human right that promotes health and well-being, dignity and good quality of life for everyone, despite who they are, where they live or what they do.
WHO Nigeria in collaboration with the government have been achieving notable strides in keeping the people safe and serving the vulnerable population, in such areas as combating infectious disease, HIV treatment, reducing maternal mortality, increase in life expectancy, and supporting disease eradication, such as Polio and Guinea Worm.
“We look forward to building a stronger WHO that delivers results and is enabled and empowered to play its leading role in global health. Let me assure you that WHO will continue to support Nigeria to promote health, provide health, protect the health, empower health and perform for health,” he added.
In his goodwill message on behalf of the Civil Society Organization, Dr Uzodinma Adirieje expressed his gratitude to WHO for the support and leadership the organization has been giving the country and other developmental partners in building a viable health sector that would promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.
WHO’s 75th anniversary year was an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved the quality of life during the last seven decades.
Highlights of the commemoration included a health Walk in Abuja and in various states across the country, free health care outreaches across the states, and other health promotion events.