FG Seeks New Framework to Tackle Lead Poisoning

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Paul Obi in Abuja

The federal government recently, said plans are underway to formulate a new framework that would tackle incessant cases of lead poisoning in order to reduce mortality and morbidity related to lead poisoning in the country.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Clement Uwaifo stated this in Abuja when the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 2nd International Conference on Lead Poisoning Prevention Associated with Artisanal Gold Mining in Nigeria led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Abdullkadiri Mliazu visited the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to Uwaifo, the need for a unified framework towards tackling lead poisoning outbreak has become imminent so as to reduce mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.

Uwaifo pointed out that a unified framework would enable the country to have a holistic surveillance system.
The permanent secretary observed that the Health Ministry is aware of the aim of the forthcoming conference which was to assist the government in developing a broader preventive and sustainable framework to address the challenges of lead poisoning associated with Gold Miners in Nigeria, which would be drive by the policy makers.

Uwaifo said: “The public need to be sensitised about the health and environmental hazards of activities at the Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), remediation of contaminated sites, provision of full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and consultative meeting with the affected states and LGAs, to prevent lead poisoning.”
On his part, Mliazu emphasised the need to have a national working plan towards reducing the threat of lead poisoning outbreak in Nigeria.

He further stated that all the major stakeholders must collaborate to sustain the outcome of the proposed national working plan, which would create a roadmap for reduction and prevention of lead poisoning outbreak in the country.