Health Ministry calls for framework to tackle Lead poisoning

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Clement Uwaifo has called for unified framework towards tackling lead poisoning outbreak to reduce mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary stated this during a courtesy visit by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the 2nd International Conference on Lead Poisoning Prevention Associated with Artisanal Gold Mining in Nigeria.

The team was led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines and Steel, Dr Abdulkadiri Mliazu.

Mr Uwaifo pointed out that a unified framework would enable the country to have a holistic surveillance system

The permanent secretary noted that the Health ministry is aware of the aim of the forthcoming conference which was to assist the Government in developing a broader preventive and sustainable framework to address the challenges of lead poisoning associated with Gold Miners in Nigeria, which would be driven by the policy makers.

Mr Uwaifo said “the public need to be sensitized about the Health and Environmental hazard of activities at the Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining (ASGM), remediation of contaminated sites, provision of full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Consultative Meeting with the affected States and LGA, to prevent lead poisoning”.

Earlier, in his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, MMSD, Dr Mliazu, emphasised the need to have a national working plan towards reducing the threat of lead poisoning outbreak in Nigeria.

He further said that all the major stakeholders must collaborate to sustain the outcome of the proposed National working plan, which would create a roadmap for reduction and prevention of lead poisoning outbreak in the country.

Bilkisu Pai