MWAN Advocates for Schools as Health Promoting Institutions

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By Martins Ifijeh

The Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Lagos State chapter, has called for primary, secondary and tertiary schools to be health promoting institutions as this would provide intersectoral synergy between education and healthcare.

Stating this during a press briefing to mark activities for the 21st Biennial Conference and Annual General Meeting of the organisation, the outgoing President, MWAN, Dr. Omowunmi Bakare said advancing the health of Nigerians requires a collective responsibility of the various levels of government and its recipients, and that when health is promoted in schools, it would ensure diseases are prevented rather than the usual situation of health in the country.

According to her, training and re-training of doctors and other health workforce, provision of adequate quality medications, health education and information on prevalent health conditions and monitoring and evaluation were important for the provision of quality healthcare to Nigerians.

She said: “Intersectoral synergy engenders improved efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare delivery system. No doubt the school should be health promoting as pupils and students are provided with health information and as such are change agents for the larger society.”

While stating that these would be the cruise of the biennial conference holding November 14 and 15, 2019 in Lagos, she said speakers have been assembled to do justice to the various thrusts of the gathering.

The conference will also serve as a platform for the investiture of the incoming President of MWAN, Prof. Frances Ajose.

Ajose, on her part, noted that while government has been focusing on addressing disease burdens in the country, MWAN was focused on preventing diseases through its wellness initiative, adding that if the country prevents diseases, the poor healthcare indices coming out of the country will drastically reduce.

On the proposed concession of teaching hospitals to private organisations to manage, she said if the way healthcare is been administered in the country was not satisfactory, the government has the right to look for other ways to make healthcare better. “I believe that is exactly what it is doing through that initiative”,
she said.