World Health Assembly: Nigeria deserves special attention on health security – Mrs. Saraki


Wife of the Senate President and Special Advisor to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) to the World Health Organisation regional office for Africa (WHO AFRO), Barr. Toyin Saraki, yesterday joined senior WHO figures, including Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, and Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, at the meeting during the 71st World Health Assembly.

In her address, Mrs Saraki appreciated WHO for clarifying its transformation plan, as Nigeria could be in danger of falling through the gap of the transition.

She however urged the WHO to consider Nigeria to be given special category as a global health security issue in terms of infectious diseases.

Mrs Saraki said, “We must strengthen civil society and the private sector to mobilise domestic resources. I would like to add my voice to the request for Nigeria to be given a special category as a global health security issue in terms of infectious diseases and further suggest that the WHO country offices consider assisting the capacity building of the private sector to bring them up to speed and thereby be able to step into the breach.

“As Special Advisor to the WHO Africa regional office, I believe that it demonstrates a critical commitment to strengthening life-saving immunisation across the continent.

“Vaccination in some African countries, including Nigeria, should be regarded as a national priority, as it protects not just an individual, but a whole community. An increase of vaccine coverage in low- and middle-income countries by 2030 would prevent 24 million people from falling into poverty due to health expenses,” she said.

Mrs Saraki however added that, “Achieving the WHO’s 2030 immunization ambition will save more than 1.9 million lives over the next decade and generate $58 million of economic benefits. I commend the WHO for presenting an overwhelming business and moral case for immunisation.”

Responding, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, “We have released this business case to map out how WHO will better support countries to strengthen their national immunisation plans. Immunisation is an important building block of strong primary health care and universal health coverage.”


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