Dear Honourable Minister,
Happy World Health Day 2023 to you and everyone in the Federal Ministry of Health. On this day, we would also like to celebrate the healthcare workers across the country for their tireless efforts to keep Nigerians healthy and strong.
The theme for this year’s Health Day is “Health for All”. As the World Health Organization observes its 75th anniversary year, it provides us with an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life over the past few decades. One major health sector success recorded in Nigeria recently is the Mental Health Act which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 6, 2023, replacing the Lunacy Act of 1958.
In our We Create Change Nigeria Community, many young Changeleaders are advocating for the implementation of the Mental Health Act in various ways and we need your support. Aisha Abdullahi Bubah is campaigning for mental health coverage for all in Nigeria. Her petition, which has been signed by 815 people, is asking the National Primary Healthcare Agency to provide basic mental health services in the 30,000 primary healthcare centres across the country. Jecinta Egbim seeks improved access to counselling units across public schools in Kaduna State. Although a state-wide issue, her campaign brings to light the need for importance to be given to adolescent mental health issues. Similarly, Olaoluwaposi Ogunlana’s campaign is advocating for the inclusion of Mental Health in Senior Secondary Education in Oyo State. We believe this presents an opportunity for the Ministries of Education and Health to collaborate.
The other Changeleaders who are campaigning for issues that affect the well-being of Nigerians include, Halima Layeni who is advocating for men’s access to mental health support as a panacea to male suicide; Samuel Oguntoke is campaigning for the preservation of River Osun following the dire health implications of pollution from artisanal gold mining, while Obadare Adenekan is campaigning to end plastic pollution because of the effects of microplastics on our health through seafood; Margaret Aladeselu’s campaign, which has been featured by Malala Fund, seeks the removal of taxes on menstrual products in Nigeria. Over 6,000 people have signed Margaret’s petition so far and this is in acknowledgement of the fact that the issue of menstrual hygiene affects the health of millions of women and girls across Nigeria.
These are some of the health-related issues being raised by Changeleaders in Nigeria, and we hope that they will be part of the Health Ministry’s agenda moving forward. Healthcare for all in Nigeria must take into cognizance the physical, economic, and mental well-being of Nigerians everywhere, including those in rural and urban areas. We appreciate you for reading our letter, and we’re grateful for everything you do to keep Nigerians healthy.
We Create Change Nigeria Community
This article is not the editorial opinion of TechnocratMedia but of the authors who are members of the, We Create Change Nigeria Community.