By Martins Ifijeh
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has reiterated the commitment of the state to champion the cause of One Health Approach to improve citizens’ health and strengthen mechanisms for prevention, detection and response to outbreaks.
Abayomi who disclosed this during a stakeholders’ symposium in Lagos recently, organised by the state Ministry of Health to commemorate 2019 ‘One Health Day’ hinted that the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations and the Nigerian government have shown commitments to support Lagos in the adoption of the One Health paradigm.
He explained that One Health recognises the interconnection between people, animals, plants and their shared environment adding that the concept of One Heath emphasised that human health was a factor of the environment.
He said, “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.
“One heath is the concept that emphasises that human health is a factor of the environment and this concept is in line with the themes mandate of the state government under the second pillar which has health and environment joined together thus affirming the one health approach.”
He posited that it was therefore imperative for government to unite the sectors working to protect humans and animals and the ecosystem noting that the concept of One Health embodies this approach as it addresses public health events at the interface of human, animal and environmental health.
He revealed that the need to improve the health of Lagosians and protect the eco system necessitated the one health strategy, adding that collaborative efforts between various MDAs including the ministries of agriculture, the environment, health, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and Lagos State Waste Water Management Office as well as relevant stakeholders would go a long way in improving the health status of the people and engender a clean environment.
Answering questions on the significant of One Health Day, the commissioner observed that the global annual celebration of ‘One Health Day’ is to bring attention to the need for a One Health approach to address shared health threats at the human-animal-environment interface.
He stated that the theme of the 2019 One Health Day celebration in the State is “One health for a healthier Lagos,.
He assured that Lagos as a responsive and responsible government with vision would continue to build capacities of health workers, engage the community and support activities and programmes which are very necessary to bolster the health of the citizenry regardless of age, gender, religious, ethnic or political affiliation.