Experts Emphasise On Relevance of Health Promotion and Education

By Olubunmi Osoteku, Ibadan

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Health Experts and stakeholders have reiterated the importance of Health Promotion and Education (HPE) to human existence.

They said; “HPE keeps people informed about their health and well-being, so they could live a life free of diseases.”

The Health Promotion experts stated this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the Annual General Meeting of the Health Promotion and Education Alumni Association College of Medicine (HPEAAICM), University of Ibadan.

Affirming that prevention is better than cure, they emphasised the need for Health Promotion and Education (HPE) to ensure people do things that would keep them healthy and live a long life without diseases.

They stressed the need to push out correct and appropriate information for people to keep themselves healthy and protected.

As a member of the HPEAAICM, the wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, a cancer survivor, affirmed that creating awareness about diseases such as cancer was imperative and required funds, as public education, patient support, advocacy and research need to be in place to make cancer a health priority.

“When I got to Ondo State, there wasn’t anything about cancer under the ministry budget. We followed the advocacy up seriously and we got the ministry to create a budget line because if they don’t have a budget line, where are they going to get money?

“That was one of the things we were able to achieve in Ondo State. We made sure that the state Assembly approved the budget for cancer and that has even snowballed into something much greater and bigger because before my husband’s tenure ends, we are bent on presenting a cancer treatment centre for Ondo State people.”

Also, the president of HPEAAICM, Dr Bright Orji, asserted that although HPE was workable in Nigeria it was challenging, as the number of trained professionals and practitioners at the local, state and federal levels was not enough, saying there was also the need to ensure the use of available channels to reach the local communities so that people would get enough relevant and needed information.

He disclosed that apart from bringing professionals together to learn, the association was also making sure that the policies made by the government were interpreted in the local languages that people would understand and appropriately ensure that it was being practised as the government had allocated.

“We are involved in policy-making, working with the government to ensure that appropriate measures are being taken and put in place to help drive this process. For example, when the bill on the regulation of health promotion was introduced, we worked with so many other associations to make sure it was all-inclusive.”

Similarly, the Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Olabode Ladipo, recalled that during the Covid-19 period, there was so much information that was not scientifically based, saying it would be beneficial for people to be given the right information concerning their health.

Ladipo, therefore sought the cooperation of the association, being health communication specialists, to come to the fore to be able to serve as mediation in terms of the kind of health-related publications that get to the public.

On his part, the President, of the Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (Worldwide), Prof. Emmanuel Otolorin, called on alumni associations to give back to society and support universities, as done in other countries, noting that the expectation that government could fund all the universities in the country to the desired level was not realistic.

“Worldwide, some of the best universities like Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, are partially supported by their alumni. That is why at this time when the government is unable to appropriately fund medical education in the country, we are talking to ourselves to step into meet some critical needs.”

The high point of the event was the association’s first induction for over 140 members, including Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, the conferment of awards and the launching of the HPEAAICM website.


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