August 2009 – PHFN Meets Honourable Minister of Health

Ministry of Health comprising the Honourable Minister of Health; Professor Babatunde Osotimehin and the Director of Public Health; Dr Jiya.

The Nigerian Public Health Foundation was introduced to the Honourable Minister as an emerging vehicle to harness the skills and talent in public health in Nigeria and around the word to serve the country better. The experience of PHFN in recent public health events around the world such as the on-going swine flu epidemic was shared with the HMOH.

We emphasised the need for planning, preparation, response capacity and leadership as critical in protecting the Nigerian people from emerging threats. PHFN suggested that there was an urgent need for a national Centre for Disease Control to develop and sustain institutional capacity in this regard. Examples were shared of competent Nigerians working in similar roles for similar agencies, all over the world, which in addition to the expertise in the country already can be tapped on to get this started.

The HMOH welcomed the idea of the PHFN – and mentioned that he was aware of similar bodies such as the Public Health Foundation of India. He responded to the idea of a Centre for Disease Control by saying that the establishment of a such as centre was already one of the Government’s priorities and he promised to set up a task force to coordinate this including the Director of Public Health and Director for Special Duties. The HMOH added that the FMOH was not only exploring the option of a national centre but also a regional centre as he was the present Chair of the ECOWAS health group.

Key outcomes  from the meeting:

  • The HMOH to set up a taskforce – to develop the idea of a CDC in the country
  • The HMOH encourages and welcomes the PHFN and asked the PHFN to organise a follow up meeting with the HMOH in pursuance of all the above.

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