By Godwin Edeh
In commemoration of the World One Health Day, Benue State One Health has organised a one-day awareness programme on sustainable ecosystem and the need to protect both human lives, animals and the environment.
This year’s theme: “Connecting human, animals and environmental health” was organised to create awareness on desirable ecosystem and the need to protect our environment.
Speaking during the occasion, Benue state representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Mrs Ogechi Chigbo appealed to the people of the state to carry out regular vaccination of their pets and other domestic animals, including livestock as they are the major sources of diseases such as lassa fever, monkey pox etc.
She urged the Benue public to avail themselves of the services and facilities provided by the Benue State government at the livestock and veterinary departments and the Epidemiological Unit to avoid the spread of related diseases.
Mrs Chigbo appealed to the state government to include One Health project in her annual budget as this will go a long way in the campaign against various livestock and veterinary diseases which in turn affect human lives.
She expressed appreciation to Governor Samuel Ortom for his support to the health sector, by putting it on the front burner of his administration, by providing various health interventions and introducing health programmes that have positive and direct impacts on the Benue public and look forward for more collaboration with the state.
In his response, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services (MoHHS), Dr Joseph Ngbea stated that, One Health is a multi-sectoral approach to human and environmental issues and described One Health as a global, national, state and local health project
He expressed readiness of the Benue State government, through the Ministry of Health to partner with One Health programmes, by providing the desired conducive environment in health care delivery in the state.
Dr Ngbea further stated that, it was in recognition of this that Governor Ortom’s health policy that led to the recent procurement of two MIR scanning machines for the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, to curb the incessant cases of long travels to other states in search of testing which is very expensive, risky and time consuming.
He thanked Breakthrough Action Nigeria for organising the awareness programme and promised to carry along One Health and similar health related organisations in the state.
In his closing remark, the Deputy Director, Public Health, MoHHS, Dr Igbabul Agela, expressed appreciation to Breakthrough Action Nigeria and other health care partners for creating awareness on the desired ecosystem and promised to sustain the programme. He urged every participant to carry out sensitisation in their various homes and environment to achieve the objectives of One Health in the state.
Present at the occasion were: Director Livestock Services, MoHHS, Dr Edward Amali; Dr Jerry Agber, representative of Commissioner for Agriculture and that of Environment; National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Sight Savers among others.
One Health was established to create awareness on the dangers of neglecting and non treatment of pets, domestic animals and livestock and how it affects human lives and the environment.